Before week 9’s loss to the Patriots, you could categorize the Miami Dolphins’ 2009 losses into two groups: losses where Miami was completely dominated and outplayed (Atlanta and San Diego), and losses where Miami should have won but blew the game thanks to their own mistakes (Indianapolis and New Orleans). This one doesn’t fit into either category. Miami played fairly well but they didn’t win. They smartly stuck with the running game. They didn’t make stupid mistakes. They never played themselves out of the game. But they lost because they’re not quite as good as New England. Really, the key difference between the two teams is the passing game, specifically the receivers. Randy Moss and Wes Welker made big plays for the Patriots. No receiver made big plays for the Dolphins. Ted Ginn yet again displayed his ability to drop key passes. Brian Hartline dropped a key pass. It’s never fun to see Welker reeling them in against the Dolphins when he should be reeling them in FOR the Dolphins. I noted the other day that the Cameron/Mueller regime actually did something right in 2007 by getting a second-rounder for Chambers. But that move by Mueller hardly makes up for his asinine move to trade away Welker months earlier for a second and seventh rounder. He all but gave away an All-Pro caliber player! I’m sure when I revise and update my earlier series The Worst Trades in Miami Dolphins History the Welker deal will have a place of honor.
This loss seemingly finished off any realistic shot at playoff spot for the Dolphins but there's still half a season to go and as we saw last year football miracles do happen. The team's still playing well and hopefully Henne can continue to improve down the stretch. But his job's going to be a lot harder than it needs to be if his receivers don't start holding on to the ball. Miami ended last season with a clear need to upgrade at wide receiver. So far it appears that need's still as great as ever.