Dolphins All-22 Breakdown: Why Couldn’t Miami Score Touchdowns?

Last week, I dropped my pitchfork at the door after the team showed up and beat the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. Well, the pitchfork is back folks! The Dolphins could’ve beaten the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but a combination of missed opportunities and cowardice prevented them from doing so. 

The team was unable to capitalize on drives where they moved the ball all the way down the field. Instead, they settled for five field goals allowing the Seahawks to stay ahead despite getting outplayed in most facets of the game. 

Before you rage quit this article and tweet at me “But Dante, the Dolphins did score a touchdown!” While it is accurate, the game was essentially already over by then. Seattle was up multiple scores, and they let the Dolphins score so they get the ball back. In my head, that touchdown doesn’t really count. 

Let’s see what the All-22 has to say about the Dolphins struggles to finish drives on Sunday. 


This was the Dolphins first series which lead to a field goal. The play above is actually second down but trust me this is the play where the drive died. On first down, OG Eric Flowers was called for holding. This negated a six-yard run by Myles Gaskin and put the Dolphins in a 1st and 20 situation. 

The Dolphins offense isn’t equipped to deal with being behind the sticks. They aren’t able to generate enough big plays to convert in situations like these. In the play above, the Dolphins try to generate a big play, but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick makes a poor read. 

The Dolphins come out with trips set to the top of the screen including Isaiah Ford, Jakeem Grant, and who I’m pretty sure is Preston Williams. Ford is the receiver the most inside of the trips, and he’s running an out and up. 

That is where Fitzpatrick goes with the football. He drops back sets his eyes there and never comes off that read. There is no version of this throw that ends with a completion. Ford isn’t open and didn’t exactly run a great route. 

However, if Fitzpatrick would’ve looked elsewhere he might have had a touchdown. Williams is the outside receiver on this play, and he’s running a straight nine route. Williams ends up drawing the attention of one of the Seahawks safeties who gets pulled out of the middle of the field. 

This leaves a huge gap in the middle which is the area you are supposed to attack against two safety looks anyway. Jakeem Grant, who was the middle receiver in the formation, is running a post route right through that giant gap created by the vacated safety. 

Fitzpatrick never gets to that read though and instead throws a contested ball to a player who isn’t too great in those situations. This is the theme of the article in a lot of ways. Ryan Fitzpatrick left a lot of meat on the bone. This should’ve been a touchdown or at the least pretty close to one. 


The last play was nice because it was well designed and got the Dolphins an open receiver. OC Chan Gailey called the right play but it was executed poorly. In this play, I don’t have much of an explanation other than Ryan Fitzpatrick tried to throw into a window that didn’t really exist. 

The Dolphins come out in an empty formation with five wide receivers. There are three receivers to the top on the screen and two to the bottom. Fitzpatrick again targets Isaiah Ford who was lined up in the slot to the top of the screen. 

Ford is running a crossing route from right to left. Now, the Seahawks LBs drop into the underneath zone on this play taking away the middle of the field. When Fitzpatrick steps up into the pocket he tries to fit that small window over the middle directly in front of him and in between both LBs. This leads to him almost throwing the ball directly into the hands of the LB. 

The sad part here is if Fitzpatrick had shown a little more patience (he wasn’t getting pressured) he could have had Ford for a touchdown. All Fitzpatrick had to do was wait for Ford to clear those underneath defenders and float the ball to the back of the endzone. Easy touchdown. 

Instead, he tried to thread the needle when he really didn’t have to. Another missed opportunity and another field goal. 


This play just makes me sad. It’s honestly the same problem as the other three plays. Fitzpatrick has a lack of patience and gets stuck on one read unwilling to come off of it to a better option. 

The Dolphins come out with four receivers this time on third down. We are worried about the three to the bottom of the screen. Specifically, the outside receiver, Jakeem Grant, and Mike Gesicki who is in the slot. 

The Seahawks come out with another two high safety look. They are in man at the top of the screen but in zone at the bottom of the screen. The corner outside Grant bails right off the snap and the corner over Isaiah Ford, the other slot player, drops underneath Grant’s route. Basically putting him in bracketed double coverage. 

Ford is running a drag route that is covered by the two LBs in the middle of the field. The key here is Gesicki who is running a crossing route from left to right. I mean, he’s wide open on this play. The safety over the top isn’t even coming downhill to cover him. If Fitzpatrick leads the throw across the field a little bit Gesicki could have scored. 

Either way, it’s like a 20-yard completion. But, Fitzpatrick never got that far in his read. Pause the clip above at five seconds and look at Gesicki. He’s wide open while Fitzpatrick is preparing to throw into double coverage. 


I thought about leaving this play out since there isn’t really a lot to talk about here. It’s third and short the Dolphins need the first down. They go to their best receiver on one of his best routes, and he can’t make the catch. 

This is a good throw and a good route by Parker. He sets the CB up with a little hesitation release before breaking across his face giving him inside leverage. Fitzpatrick’s throw is accurate and leads Parker across the field. 

It’s tough to tell from this angle, but the CB doesn’t make a play on the ball here. He sticks his hand in, but he didn’t tip it or commit pass interference. I hesitate to call this drop because it’s a difficult catch to make through traffic, but Parker has got to come up with this one in a game this close. 

Lastly, we have the only running play of the bunch, which I’m not going to lie makes me happy despite the outcome. I think breaking down this play might require someone with a little more experience than myself. It’s either that or the Dolphins just actually called the worst running play in the playbook on one of the most important plays of the game. You know. One or the other. 

Miami comes out with three receivers in 11 personnel with Durham Smythe as the lone TE. Seattle has three-down lineman and then one EDGE rusher standing up. Smythe goes in motion from right to left to be the lead blocker on the play side. 

Jessie Davis (RT) and Soloman Kindley (RG) combo block the three-tech defensive lineman. Ted Karras (OC) and Erick Flowers (LG) combo block the one-tech defensive lineman. Austin Jackson (LT) blocks the other DE. 

So what’s the problem? Nobody blocks the backside EDGE rusher who was standing up at the start of the play. He explodes off the line and tackles Gaskin before he can make anything happen. Seattle stuffed up the playside as well so there is a go chance this play doesn’t result in a first down anyway. 

I can’t tell you for sure if this is intentional or not. My guess is they thought he was going to drop or they thought Gaskin would be up in the hole before the unblocked EDGE got there. Either way, they were wrong and ended up kicking another field goal. 



So, why couldn’t the Dolphins score any touchdowns? Well, there are a number of reasons as there often is. First, Ryan Fitzpatrick had a bad case of tunnel vision all game. He didn’t look of a single soul and consistently made bad reads. 

Second, some blame goes to HC Brian Flores for never going for it on fourth down. I understand kicking the field goals early in the game. However, they were playing an SB contender with a potential MVP QB. At some point, you got to gather your gusto and take your shot. Playing safe and scared isn’t going to cut it when you have to overcome a large talent gap in the first place. 

Lastly, the play calling wasn’t perfect but it rarely is for any team not named the Chiefs. After watching the All-22, I don’t think OC Chan Gailey deserves much of the blame here. Fitzpatrick missed open receivers, and Parker couldn’t come down with one he should’ve had. 

Miami needs to be bolder. Get with the times. Teams go for it on fourth-down now. Playing scared isn’t going to get it done anymore.