The Dolphins Offense Is Holding Them Back
The Miami Dolphins had a crushing defeat to the Denver Broncos this past Sunday. and it is the Dolphins’ offense that is holding them back. The Dolphins couldn’t move the ball with any consistency and on defense despite forcing two turnovers they got gashed by the Broncos’ offense.
During their 5 game winning streak, the defense and special teams made plays to set the offense up for easy scores or produced scores themselves. Except for the interception by Xavien Howard to set up the first touchdown on a short field, neither the defense nor special teams came up with the play to set up the offense in a golden situation. That’s the problem for the Dolphins right now, that unless they are given outstanding field position they struggle to score. And unless the offense starts stepping up, they are going to hold this team back.
Before making the switch to Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins did move the ball with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but his drives either stalled or Fitzpatrick turned the ball over in the red-zone. That’s when head coach Brian Flores decided to make a change at quarterback hoping for better results with Tagovailoa. Since Tagovailoa has come in, he has thrown 6 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. On the surface, those are good stats and Tagovailoa isn’t turning the ball over outside of one fumble. However, if anyone has watched Tagovailoa in his 4 starts, most of the Dolphins’ possessions that turn into scores are set up by big by the defense or special teams giving the offense a short field.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) November 24, 2020
In the win over the Los Angeles Rams, the defense forced 4 turnovers and scored a touchdown on a fumble return. Two turnovers put the offense in Rams territory including one at the 1-yd line. The Dolphins then got a punt return for a touchdown so the offense didn’t have to do much and in fact, were out-gained by a 4 to 1 margin. In the win over the Arizona Cardinals Miami had a scoop and score in their win. Then against the Los Angeles Chargers, the special teams had a blocked punt that set up the offense at the 1-yd line again. It’s great when you can get contributions like this, but to expect it week in and week out is unrealistic. When the defense and special teams aren’t able to make those big plays the offense has to step up.
The Dolphins’ offense has been inconsistent at times especially during this 4 game stretch with Tagovailoa at quarterback. Now he is a rookie and growing pains are to be expected because of his inexperience. Tagovailoa has made some good throws, but he has also gotten away with some of his throws. He’s had at least 5 passes dropped by defenders and sooner or later that luck will change if you aren’t careful. Also, when Tagovailoa gets pressured, like on Sunday, he has to get rid of the ball and not take hits.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) November 23, 2020
The offensive line is much better this year than a year than they have been in previous years. They are playing 3 rookies and at times you forget that with how well they are playing. However, they have much more growth in their game to be had and teams like the Broncos this past Sunday will throw different looks at them to confuse them. On Sunday, they had their worst game of the year giving up 6 sacks and a lot of pressures.
I feel the biggest problem for the Dolphins is their lack of depth at the skilled positions. They have no running game to speak of. Their top pickups at running back, Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, have been major disappointments to the point that Howard was waived last week. I doubt Breida will even be back next year since this is his contract year. The Dolphins need to try to make the best of what they have and in the off-season invest in a running back to give this offense a running game.
The Dolphins also need someone to step up at receiver besides DeVante Parker. Parker is the only true threat the Dolphins have at receiver. Now the Dolphins’ depth was hurt prior to the season with Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out due to COVID-19. On top of that, Preston Williams got hurt in the win over the Cardinals and he may not be back this year so others have to step up. Malcolm Perry and Lynn Bowden are still learning to play the position after playing quarterback in college. If one of them can contribute great, but it is asking a lot from either rookie. Jakeem Grant is a dynamic kick returner but hasn’t produced consistently at receiver ever for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins the last two years have put a lot of resources into building their trenches and the defense, but next year they need to invest in the skill positions more. It’s important to have a good defense and special teams, but you have to have an offense that scores points and makes big plays consistently. The receivers aren’t creating separation consistently and because of that the quarterback might hold the ball too long and take sacks as Tagovailoa did on Sunday. The Dolphins need to find more playmakers to take the top of the defense off. The Dolphins will make the best of what they have, but if they don’t move the ball on offense like on Sunday this team could be held back and not make the playoffs.