ATL: What We Learned  

 

Joe Philbin's seat heats up in ugly loss to Buccaneers

The Miami Dolphins' total of two yards on 14 rushes in Monday night's 22-19 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks like it was borrowed from a Trent Richardson box score.

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Down a pair of starting offensive linemen because of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin scandal, the Dolphins managed a paltry 0.14 yards per carry with no room to run against a Buccaneers front seven led by All-Pro candidates Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David. It was the most futile rushing effort in franchise history.

This hardly is a new phenomenon for the ground "attack" of coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. The Dolphins have been held under 25 rushing yards three times in nine games. Even the Baltimore Ravens are pointing and laughing.

For as much hot water as Philbin is in for his dysfunctional locker room, it might just be the failure of his offense that places his job in jeopardy.

In 25 games as head coach of the Dolphins, Philbin has managed 28 points just once. For comparison's sake, first-year Bears coach Marc Trestman averages 28.8 points per game.

After a grisly, mistake-filled loss to the NFL's last winless team, Philbin is leapfrogging a suddenly popular Greg Schiano in the hot-seat watch.

Here's what else we learned in Monday's game:

1. Ryan Tannehill turned in another in a string of uneven performances. Although he completed a career-best 12 consecutive passes to bring the Dolphins back from a 15-0 deficit, he also missed throws and is understandably losing faith in his porous offensive line.

2. Recently promoted to slot receiver following Brandon Gibson's season-ending injury, Rishard Matthews became the first player in Dolphins history with 11 receptions and two touchdown catches in a game. A favorite of NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell coming out of Nevada, Matthews is emerging as Tannehill's most reliable target due to his physicality in traffic and run-after-catch ability.

A Football Life


The career of legendary coach Vince Lombardi -- who directed the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s -- will be chronicled on NFL Network on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

» The magic of Lombardi
» Top 10 motivational coaches
» Video: 'A Football Life'
» NFL Network schedule

Upcoming episodes:
» Dec. 24: Vince Lombardi, Part 1
» Dec. 31: Vince Lombardi, Part 2
» Jan. 7: Tiki and Ronde Barber
» Jan. 14: Bill Parcells
» Jan. 21: Jerry Smith
» Jan. 28: Jerry Rice

3. David became a household name when his late-hit penalty led to a last-second Jets victory in the season opener, but he entered the game as the only player in the NFL with at least 70 tackles and five sacks. The second-year star added to his All-Pro resume with a second-quarter safety on Daniel Thomas. David has been the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the league, just as McCoy has been the preeminent three-technique defensive tackle.

4. Darrelle Revis earned a decisive victory over Mike Wallace in their one-on-one matchup, providing a reminder of why he's one of the most complete cornerbacks in the league. Wallace did toast Revis down the sideline early in the game, only to watch Ryan Tannehill's pass sail out of bounds. Outside of that play, Wallace couldn't handle Revis' physicality.

5. Sixth-round rookie Mike James was off to another impressive start, rushing five times for 41 yards on the opening drive before going down with a fractured ankle. Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey carried the offense the rest of the way, as the Bucs became the third consecutive team to rush for at least 150 yards on a reeling Dolphins defense.

6. Vincent Jackson is finding out how hard it is to produce week-in and week-out with subpar quarterback play against double and even triple coverage. That said, he's laid a few eggs in his second season with the Bucs. He was guilty of lazy route running in addition to a horrendous two-play stretch in the third quarter. There's nothing stopping Jackson from a bounce-back 2014 season if the Bucs surround him with more talent.

The "Around The League Podcast" recapped every Week 10 game. Click here to listen and subscribe.

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