Depressing. Gase clearly doesn’t have the answers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There’s only one word for what happened again on a national stage Monday night if you’re a Dolphins fan: Depressing.
Depressing how a Carolina team that couldn’t run the ball ran tread marks over the Dolphins defense in its 45-21 win. Depressing that Jay Cutler made the one pass he couldn’t make just before half, getting intercepted in a 10-7 game that pivoted to 17-7 on that play. And then 24-7. And ...
Depressing Baltimore’s 40-0 win against the Dolphins had company as the most depressing game of the year.
Depressing that there’s clarity to a Dolphins season that again isn’t going anywhere.
Most of all, it’s depressing coach Adam Gase has no answers. That’s obvious now. He’s pushed buttons and pulled trades with descending results. It’s one thing to lose games. It’s another to lose them by such awful scores you can see the drastic manner he’s dealt with issues isn’t working.
A year ago, Gase couldn’t do any wrong as he molded a team’s identity around the available talent in the manner smart coaches do and rode that identity of Jay Ajayi’s running all the way to the playoffs.
Now Ajayi is traded. Now this team again has no identity. Now there’s a problem in the locker room, as many players like Jarvis Landry and Ja’Wuan James have known since the off-season they probably won’t be getting paid here while lesser talents like Kenny Stills, Andre Branch and even J.T. McDonald did while serving a suspension.
There’s something about coaches in their second years. Dave Wannstedt won a playoff game his first year — and never made the playoffs after that. Tony Sparano went to his playoffs the first year — and, same thing, never did again.
Will that be Gase’s epitaph, too?
That’s getting ahead of the story, of course, because he’s smart and brash and maybe a humbling like this season is becoming will do him good in the long run. We’ll see. The only sure thing is it’s humbling to lose three straight big-stage games — Thursday at Baltimore, Sunday against the Raiders and now Carolina.
Gase could just stand there Monday as Carolina’s top-rated defense pushed around his offense and the Dolphins defense continued to look like it’s collapsing as the year goes on in such a fashion all the good work at season’s start will be forgotten.
Carolina scored four touchdowns on its first, four second half possessions. It converted nine of its first 12. It ran for 213 yards – through three quarters. Depressing. You hate to keep using that word over and over in another November without any hope. Oh, the Dolphins will play better than this.
Depressing. You hate to keep using that word over and over in another November without any hope.
They’ll win some more games. They play struggling Tampa Bay next week, so they’ll bob up and down to the end, depending on the opponent.
But you know who they are. I know who they are. They even know who they are, because when you get pounded like they have been in so many games this year there’s no hiding the conclusion. Some strengths don’t even look that way anymore.
It was depressing how Carolina pounded the ball over the heart of the Dolphins, Ndamukong Suh and the defensive line. Jonathan Stewart averaged 3 yards a carry entering Monday. He ran 17 times for 110 yards for a 6.5-yard average Monday.
It was depressing how Devante Parker adds to the shopping list by answering he’s not a No. 1 receiver by being hurt or, on Monday, staying invisible for another game.
It was depressing how, the play after Kenyan Drake ran 66 yards for a third-quarter touchdown to give something to cheer about, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton ran 69 yards to set up its next touchdown.
“Unbelievable,’’ ESPN’s Jon Gruden said.
No, it was believable if you’ve seen this team, game after game. They haven’t developed anywhere, really. They can’t do much offensively, are sagging defensively and their coach is out of buttons to push or trades to make.
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase looks on during Monday’s loss to the Panthers, Miami’s third straight loss.