2015 Miami Dolphins are a Mess – Joe Philbin to be Fired?

joe-philbin-miamiThe Miami Dolphins have been patiently building a contender for the past few years. And it seemed that this year, they’d finally taken the necessary steps to become a true Super Bowl threat for the first time since the 1990s. This is especially the case considering that they signed star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a giant contract in the offseason. But here we are entering the fourth weekend of the 2015 NFL season and the Dolphins are 1-2, coming off three straight lackluster performances, and facing a must-win game in London tomorrow.

Miami is a mess right now and head coach Joe Philbin is on the hot seat already. According to a recent report, Philbin or another prominent coach on the staff could lose their job if Miami doesn’t win against the New York Jets. Last year this might not have been such a difficult game, but the Jets are off to a 2-1 start and sporting a very tough defense. And it’s not exactly like the Dolphins are looking like a juggernaut, with a narrow win over Washington in Week 1, followed by losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills since.

NFL.com’s Randy Getlin reports a source saying, “If the team loses three in a row, don’t be shocked if someone on that coaching staff gets fired.”

Another source told Getlin that “everybody understands” the coaches are the issue and aren’t putting this team in a position to win.

As if the coaches’ jobs being on the line three games into the season isn’t enough, even the players are ready to quit on the team if they begin the season 1-3.

ndamukong-suh-dolphins“We’ve been going out there, and practicing our (tails) off every day, but as players, we’re tired of being embarrassed,” said an unnamed Dolphins player. “If we get beat in Europe, (players) are going to throw in the towel. It isn’t the players. We have all the talent in the world.”

The Dolphins have improved in recent years, going 8-8 the past two seasons and playing very competitively in most games. However, the stakes have been raised after owner Stephen Ross went out and spent big in free agency, paying $114 million to Suh over 6 years. They also drafted Jordan Philips (second round) to bolster their defensive line, and signed Davante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron to free-agent contracts – all three of whom were supposed to bolster the receiving corp.

Ross added an extra year to Philbin’s contract after he guided less-talented teams to a 24-27 record over three seasons. But after the extension, Ross did add, “There has to be improvement.”

The Dolphins owner is noted as a “remarkably loyal person.” But if Miami can’t take the next step this season and actually make the playoffs, then it seems like there won’t be much loyalty behind Philbin any longer.

Ezekiel Elliott helps Ohio State survive Scare from Indiana

ezekial-elliott-indianaTop-ranked Ohio State got a scare from the Indiana Hoosiers earlier today, but they can thank running back Ezekiel Elliott for helping them prevail.

In the second half, Elliott had rushing touchdowns of 55, 65 and 75 yards to help the Buckeyes beat Indiana 34-27. On just 23 carries, Elliott managed to rack up 274 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.

Despite their inability to contain Ohio State, the Hoosiers still had a chance to win on the final play. On fourth and goal, Indiana quarterback Zander Diamont threw an incompletion that was largely the result of an errant snap.

The day began really well for Indiana, which was playing in front of its first sold-out crowd since 2010. They grabbed a 10-0 lead in the second quarter and stifled the Ohio State offense early on. The Buckeyes were able to trim this deficit to 10-6 before the half, but they were still in an unfamiliar position against a less-heralded opponent.

In a game where quarterback Cardale Jones and the passing game were struggling, Elliott began taking over in the second half. His first TD run put the Buckeyes ahead 13-10 in the third quarter. However, Jones threw an interception on Ohio State’s next drive, which eventually led to Indiana’s Devine Redding scoring his second touchdown of the game.

zander-diamont-ohio-stateOSU started the next drive sluggishly, but went for it on fourth and one, resulting in a 65-yard run by Elliott to put them up 20-17. Jones then threw a touchdown to Michael Thomas and Elliott added his third TD run to put Ohio State in a commanding lead.

However, Diamont, who started at QB for the injured Nate Sudfeld, would cut the lead to 34-27 on a 79-yard TD scamper. Indiana would then force two Ohio State punts and have consecutive chances to win the game; however, they failed on both drives and lost by a touchdown.

For the Buckeyes, they now stand 5-0 on the season after yet another close contest. They also barely got by Northern Illinois two weeks ago at home, which brought about questions regarding Jones at QB. These questions are unlikely to die down following another subpar effort from the sophomore, who led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record and the national championship late last year.

Jones finished 18-of-27, passing for 245 yards and a TD. But he also had a red-zone interception that helped keep the game close and missed multiple easy throws during the game. It’s imperative that the QB play improve for Ohio State if they’re to have a chance at defending their national title. After all, the Big Ten schedule only gets tougher for the Bucks, who will need a more-balanced offense to beat some of the better teams in the league.