Hyde: Now it's Dolphins' defense on life support as Brady delivers 45-17 loss | Commentary – South Florida Sun Sentinel

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So who’s saying at least the defense is rebuilt now, huh?
In fact, everyone sees the mess is bigger than expected. Problems keep descending from unimpressive to uninspiring to simply unwatchable by the end of the Miami Dolphins’ 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Tom Brady didn’t even need to stay in this one, going to the bench in what could only be a mercy ruling.
Football is a game of recognition, so let’s recognize the truth when the Dolphins emitted it like a fragrant bedpan. This team is back to playing the brand of complementary football it has for too much of the past two decades.
Bad offense. Bad defense. Bad for everyone all the way around.
Yes, Sunday was against Brady. Yes, the Benjamin Button Buccaneer looks better at 44 than he was at 24 or even 34. Yes, Tampa Bay has playmakers out the wazoo like Brady had at New England in their near-undefeated-run in 2007.
But wasn’t the Dolphins defense considered top-drawer, too? Didn’t it rank No. 6 last season? Wasn’t the working idea that it’d be a force moving into this season?
Brady played them like a piano. It wasn’t just his 411 yards passing and five touchdown throws. It was the manner he used the Dolphins to tune up a struggling Tampa Bay running game. The Bucs were the 30th-ranked run offense at 72.3 yards a game entering Sunday. They ran for 121 yards on the Dolphins.
“We’re out of sync in a lot of ways,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “Run defense. Pass defense. Pass rush. We’re a step behind. I would say we’ve got to make corrections. I would say we’re a little out of sync.”
Bucs receiver Antonio Brown had his two-touchdown way against the Dolphins’ best player, cornerback Xavien Howard. Brady seemed to pick on linebacker Jerome Baker, the Dolphins’ best cover linebacker. The return of defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, the team’s best defensive lineman, had no surface impact.
“We’d have some tough games, no question about that,” cornerback Byron Jones said. “I thought we saw some good things here and there, but it’s not consistent. It’s not for the entire game.
“Any time you go against good competition like that, you got to understand how you are going to be attacked and just attack it that way and understand these are our challenges. They put a lot on our shoulders for a reason because we are good.”
There’s the question. Are they good? Buffalo beat them down for 35 points. Vegas put up 31 points. Now the third strong offense this Dolphins defense has faced makes them look like they have a glass jaw. One big hit and they’re done.
It’s not like the offensive questions went away. They just became secondary this Sunday. Liam Eichenberg went to left tackle, moving first-round pick Austin Jackson to left guard. Myles Gaskin became the top running back again. Preston Williams replaced an injured DeVante Parker. All those ideas worked in their own way.
The offense still scored 17 points. That’s peanuts in today’s NFL. Will the return of Tua Tagovailoa pump up the numbers? Can he help a deflated season?
No Dolphins team needed a trip out of the country to play a winless Jacksonville team like this ones. It’s not like returning to Hard Rock Stadium is a sure help at this point. They’re 0-2 at home. What’s the airline ad? Wanna get away? Lose to that Jacksonville (0-5) in London and they might want to stay away.
The rebuild looks in free fall. Fans are apoplectic. Who’s to blame? How many to fire? What can possibly be done?
Take a deep breath.
If that didn’t help, try it with a shot of your strongest stuff. At 1-4, the only hope for the season doesn’t come from anything you see on the field.
It comes from the schedule. This first difficult stretch is done. Now it’s Jacksonville, then Atlanta (2-3). When November comes, the Dolphins go 57 days with only one road game.
So there’s a chance for some of these questions to settle against lesser competition. But five games into Year 3 of the rebuild nothing looks good. Not the offense. Not the front office. Not the coaching. And, after Sunday, not even a defense that was good last season.