In retrospect, the Miami Dolphins never had a chance on Saturday.
The cold. The opponent. The injuries.
They were all too much for Mike McDaniel’s group, and the viewing public saw again on Tuesday night just how out of their depth they were against the Kansas City Chiefs — not to mention Mother Nature.
Hard Knocks: In Season with the Miami Dolphins has been a gift to fans. But the finale was probably one gift those fans would like to return.
It ended with a tearful sendoff by McDaniel, but the most interesting and memorable words came from Jaylen Waddle on the sidelines, after another empty possession in Arrowhead Saturday night.
Hard Knocks: In Season with the Miami Dolphins Finale Recap
The Dolphins had their worst offensive game of the year at the worst possible time, scoring a season-low seven points in their Wild Card Round loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Credit NFL Films — which put together yet another compelling season of the NFL’s reality TV show — for capturing Waddle venting to Tyreek Hill on the frozen sidelines late in the game:
“Man, we can’t put up seven points, cuz. Not in this type of game. Defense did all that they could do and we just didn’t put up points. This s— is annoying as f—. We’re too talented to be doing this. If anything, defense should be struggling. They’ve got 11 new players.”
Waddle of course was right. The Dolphins’ defense, even with their old men off the street playing on the edge, hung in there against Patrick Mahomes and the defending champs.
They gave the team a chance in the second half.
The offense didn’t take advantage of it.
MORE: Will Miami Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel Surrender Play-Calling?
And the result left a teary-eyed McDaniel giving the post-game speech he never wanted to give after yet another postseason one-and-done.
“I think something that’s special about this team is there’s less of people pointing fingers at other people and lots of people hurting, thinking about what more they could have done,” McDaniel told his team. “I know that damn sure includes myself.
“This is what we said that we didn’t want, just a taste of the playoffs. We didn’t deliver, so we’re going to figure out how to do that.
“Because there’s championship s— all over this team. It’s a f—ing shame. It reminds you of why you commit so much to this game. This hurts, man. This team, this season, f— did you guys make me proud how you battled.
“I’m honored to be the coach of you guys. You guys are warriors, and we’ll get through this, but it will be tough, and that’s OK. I love you guys.”
The final speech from Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel and Christian Wilkins, an impending free agent. pic.twitter.com/BUE2HMrqM6
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 17, 2024
McDaniel and many — but certainly not all — of his players will get a chance in 2024 to right that wrong.
Unfortunately, we won’t have Hard Knocks providing this kind of insight every week.
Want to predict the results of the 2023 NFL postseason with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? How about looking into in-depth breakdowns of team depth charts or the NFL playoff schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with all that and more!