A Game Without Highlights

Ho boy, that was rough. Slaughter at the hands of a team coming off a 1-15 season.

That. Was. Rough.

You sit through many of these conversations on this blog and other fansites, about a team in rebuild mode. Clearly this is a team bereft of much veteran presence, having done next to nothing in the Draft pre-Herm Edwards. Clearly this is a team that is completely in development. Clearly the Dolphins were in need of a statement game and the Kansas City Chiefs came in with what seemed like 250 injuries to promising youngins and assured veterans alike.

But it's hard to figure out where to place Saturday night. The 24-0 beatdown by the Dolphins was as hard a game as I've ever watched. It was literally a game without highlights. When you gather with other fans after the game, and one of the most impressive plays of the night was how rookie RB Dantrell Savage tackled a guy after an interception, you're basically gasping for air as a supporter of this team.

The We're Rebuilding! Card is easy to play right here. Well let's face it, it's going to be easy to play all year. But I don't think it adequately explains what happened. Saturday's game was a failure, and not just in the rhetoric sense that we racked up an L instead of a W. It was a failure because our quarterbacks couldn't play, our line couldn't protect, our running backs couldn't run, our kickers couldn't kick, our linebackers couldn't tackle, our passrush couldn't rush, our safeties couldn't cover, and our cornerbacks got burned. Our gameplan, offensively and defensively, was nonexistant, perhaps deliberately so, but nonetheless worrying as the Dolphins, recovering from a historically sorry season, likely prepared for this game the same.

Rebuilding projects are never supposed to have games like that. It was a failure on every level.  The silver lining of that loss is so devastatingly small, it's unfair to call it "lining." Lining would mean that it exists. You should more appropriately call any hope that arose out of the Dolphins game the "silver concept."

You may not be able to tell from that game, but this is a team that boasts a lot of talent. We have promising young talent at most of these positions. We have former Pro Bowlers at other positions. We even have a Hall of Famer. So how on earth can this happen?

Yes, all the right pieces are being honed. But this is more than an "unfinished project." This is a team who's pieces are miles apart from one another, and it's really hard to see how we can reverse that with any reasonable speed. If the Dolphins game was any reasonable indication, this phase of birth pangs will take quite a few years, not merely one or two.

But for the short term, perhaps we should take the message: a team coming off one of the worst seasons in NFL history might have just hinted that we are destined for the same fate in 2008.

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