Monday Observations

Jason Taylor might have raised some eyebrows when he said after Sunday's loss at Houston that the Dolphins weren't a very good team right now, but is there really anything shocking about that? Have you seen the Dolphins play so far this season? What other word could you use?

No, the Dolphins are not a very good team right now, and that extends to just about every facet of the game.

The run offense has potential because Ronnie Brown really does look like a good running back, but more often than not he's got no room to run because the offensive line has been so bad.

The passing game is a mess because Daunte Culpepper holds the ball too long, because the line can't pass-block, and because too often the short option is being chosen.

The pass defense is mediocre and because of that the third-down defense is bad.

The special teams have had their share of highlights, but there's also been a lost fumble, a blocked punt against the Dolphins, and the failure to pick up a loose ball on the onside kick against the Texans.

Other than that, though, the Dolphins are doing just fine.

And here's the really bad news: The Dolphins have just played three opponents who won't make the playoffs. In fact, the Dolphins' first four opponents have a combined record of 4-11, with three of those wins against Miami. That means, it's 1-10 when Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tennessee and Houston aren't facing the Dolphins. Ouch.

* * *

There was a lot of criticism surrounding the two-point conversion, and the choice to have Ronnie Brown throw a halfback option pass.

Here's the problem with the play call: Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey had a lot of success with gadget plays when he was in Pittsburgh, but one reason those worked is because whoever got the ball generally had some time because the offensive line was so good.

The Dolphins offensive line can't hold back anybody right now, so Mularkey should have known that Brown probably would have to make a quick decision on whether to run or throw the ball, and then on who to throw it to.

That's a lot to ask of a running back.

Here's the other problem with the play: The Dolphins are paying Daunte Culpepper some big bucks to play quarterback. He actually was playing pretty well down the stretch and started making some plays.

A) Wouldn't you rather have him throw the ball with the game on the line?

B) Don't you want to give him the change to make the big play and give him a confidence boost that perhaps that lead to bigger and better things?

As it turned out, Brown's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, yet it still found its way to what appeared to be its original destination, which was the back of the end zone where Marty Booker was running.

The problem there is that Booker, for the second time in the game, lost his footing and therefore had no chance to make the play.

Saban took some criticism when he said that had the play worked, it would have been praised as a great call, and maybe there's something weak about the comment. But he's also right.

Mike Mularkey would be a genius had the play worked. But that wouldn't have changed the fact it was a low-percentage play, work or not. And the Dolphins right now need to put everything in their favor as much as possible.

What would have been the right call? Well, there's no way, with the blocking the way it is, that Brown would have scored on a straight handoff.

Maybe the best move would have been to have Culpepper in the shotgun to give him a little extra time.

Then again, we keep talking about the two-point conversion, but the fact it came down to that tells you everything you need to know about the state of the Dolphins.

Dolphins Report Top Stories