Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin stood in front of the media this week and made a declaration. Despite major issues on both sides of the football, Philbin said he was confident his coaching staff would come up with the right solutions to fix Miami's problems.
But Sunday proved to be more of the same from the struggling Dolphins. The team started slowly and looked mostly listless in a 27-13 loss to the Jets. It was the third loss in a row for Miami (1-3), which must make major changes -- starting with the coaching staff -- during the bye week for any chance of a turnaround.
Miami trailed at intermission for the fourth week in a row. This is a poor reflection of Philbin and his staff for putting together shoddy game plans and not having the team ready to play.
Players simply aren't responding to what the coaches are teaching, especially on defense. That disconnect is a major reason Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's time should be up during the bye week. Coyle's scheme is not stopping the run -- Miami allowed a season-high 207 rushing yards against the Jets -- and failed to sack the quarterback for the third time in four games. Miami has lost to quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Tyrod Taylor and now Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is not a good look for the defense and team overall.
Philbin is on a very hot seat. However, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been fiercely loyal to Philbin, and there is no clear interim choice currently on staff to serve as a replacement. Plus, Miami showed some fight in the fourth quarter, and that might buy Philbin some more time.
But the clock is certainly ticking on Philbin as the losses pile up.
What it means: All the preseason optimism is out the window. The Dolphins are a bad football team that is in deep, deep trouble. The team has so many major issues on both sides of the ball that it seems unlikely that all of them can be fixed in time. Miami still can't run the ball or stop the run. That foundation makes it easy for opponents to set the tone and take early leads.
What were they thinking? The Dolphins continue to play ultra-conservative on offense, and that is costing the team early in games. Miami scored just 14 points, which is not enough to win. The few times Miami went deep, the team actually drew three pass-interference flags from the Jets and moved the ball down the field. The Dolphins must be more aggressive offensively.
One reason to get excited: There is really not much for Dolphins fans to get excited about after three straight losses. However, Miami did play its best football in the fourth quarter and appeared to have some fight late in the game. Maybe that will provide a little momentum in two weeks, when the Dolphins play the Tennessee Titans.
One reason to panic: Similar to last week, there are about 10 reasons to panic. But the biggest issue is Miami's slow starts. The Dolphins have trailed 13-0, 27-0, 17-6 and 10-0 in the first half in four games this season. That is unacceptable.
Fantasy watch: Dolphins running back Lamar Miller continues to disappoint fantasy owners. He rushed for just 26 yards on seven carries. Miami continues to fall behind and abandon the running game, so the lack of production is not all on Miller.
Ouch: Starting cornerback Brent Grimes injured his knee in the first quarter and didn't return to the game. The Pro Bowler is a big part of the Dolphins' secondary, and his injury affected them.