The first couple of preseason games have shown many of the same problems for the Dolphins offense we have seen in the past. They can move the ball between the 20’s fairly well, but they shoot themselves in the foot when trying to finish off drives in the red-zone. Instead of scoring touchdowns they settle for field goals or push themselves out of field goal range altogether. I know the Dolphins can move the ball from their 20 to the opponents 20, but then after that I don’t know ever what’s going to happen as the offensive unit always finds a way to stall the drive. I’ve consistently seen the Dolphins have good drives stalled because of penalties, drops, negative plays, etc and at this point is a big problem the coaching staff needs to address.
The first possession against Tampa Bay, the Dolphins had a solid drive going and then Ryan Tannehill missed a wide-open Danny Amendola at the Bucs 10. The end results a missed long field goal. Later in the same game, the Dolphins recover a fumble and start a drive in the red zone and on the very first play of the drive get a delay of game penalty. How in the world does that happen? The Dolphins start a drive 1st and 15 and ended the series 4 yards short of the first down marker. The 5-yard penalty hurts the drive from the start and would have given them a first and goal inside the 10 if not for that initial penalty, but instead they kick a short field goal when all is said and done.
In the last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers, the Dolphins started 2 drives in the red zone including one inside the 10 and both drives ended in short field goals primarily because they got backed up by penalties. The first drive Tannehill avoided a rush and dumped a pass to Kenyan Drake who got to the 2-yard line and would have made it 3rd and goal, but a holding penalty backed them up. On top of that, the very next play the Dolphins get a delay of game penalty and backs them up again. Once again how does that happen? Delay of game penalties shouldn’t happen in the red zone because the 25 second clock is in both end zones. I know this because I’m a referee and the quarterback should be looking at it. I was even more upset because it was on Tannehill. As the leader, you can’t let that happen in the red zone.
Adam Gase whether you agree with him or not makes good points on drives stalling because of 2nd and 3rd down long distances makes things more difficult. He does make good points, but his teams need to be more disciplined. The Dolphins have potential on offense, but drive killing mistakes are going to come back to haunt you especially when you play better teams in the season like the New England Patriots.
I like to sit here and say oh these things can get cleaned up before the season because they can, but the problem is it’s the same old story every year for the Dolphins on offense. They can’t finish drives off and its more than just a problem in these two pre-season games. If the Dolphins can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot on offense, it’s just going to hold this team back to a mediocre team at best.