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 »This Week in History
Miami Dolphins
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  Fan dissatisfaction is growing in Miami, where the Dolphins lost to Kansas City, 34-15, Sunday to fall to 1-2 on the season.

The team had a promotion called an "Aqua Out" in which it handed out free aqua-colored T-shirts to fans who were supposed to wear them and create a united appearance. But the stadium was about 20 percent empty.

That leads to the bigger issue, which is why fans are dissatisfied.

It's because they're not seeing progress in the Dolphins.

On Monday, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the target of persistent media inquiries, the main one being whether he would be the starter when the Dolphins take the field Sunday in London against Oakland.

"What we do every single week is the same," coach Joe Philbin said. "We take a look at our roster we decide who are the 46 players we can take to the game who can help us win the football game and how can we best utilize them, so we'll do that again."

Philbin, who almost never comments on matters such as which player will start, refused to answer directly when asked whether there would be an open competition this week between Tannehill and backup quarterback Matt Moore.

"We're going to choose the 46 guys that we think can help us win the football game and we're going to go from there," Philbin said. "That's the starting point and we're going to utilize the players the best way we feel fit."

It's just another example of how the Dolphins can't seem to help themselves. Their units aren't in sync. It has been blunder after blunder, which was the case against the Chiefs.

"Once we made a play to get some momentum, we'd have a penalty, we'd have to kick the ball back there, throw fifteen yards further... they'd get the ball," Philbin said of the Kansas City loss.

"I think it was maybe 14-10 at that point in time and they go right down and score. We got the safety to make it 21-15 I think (in the fourth quarter), and I don't think we did anything with the ball on offense at that point in time."

The disappointing thing is the Dolphins seem to be making many of the same mistakes and having many of the same issues they have been dealing with for Philbin's two-plus seasons.

Poor tackling. Poor pass protection. Spotty run defense. Dropped passes. The offense can't score points or move the ball consistently.

"What I saw (on film) was, I didn't think we protected the quarterback very well, number one," Philbin said. "We had tipped passes, I believe it was four sacks, if I'm not mistaken, that's not a good start in the passing game. I thought we didn't catch the ball extremely well. I know in the first half we had a minimum three drops, I think.

"I think the long touchdown drive was 19 yards, maybe. You've got to do better than that on offense. You have to. You can't expect to win a lot of games if your longest touchdown drive is 19 yards."

The running game is performing well. The Dolphins have had two 100-yard rushers between Knowshon Moreno (134 vs. New England) and Lamar Miller (108 vs. Kansas City).

The defensive line is playing well with 7.5 sacks, three caused fumbles and a safety.

Yet the Dolphins have trailed at halftime in all three games.

Tannehill was a miserable 21-for-43 passing for 205 yards and one touchdown Sunday. He didn't show any pocket presence and once again didn't seem to be able to conjure up any magic to move the sluggish offense.

The fans are fed up right now. And while fans are fickle, eventually owner Steve Ross will notice his stadium isn't full and his fans aren't happy with his coach or the quarterback.

"I would tell the fans not to panic," cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "We're going to get it right, we're going to fix it. We're going to continue to stay committed to one another and work harder."


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