- Miami’s offensive tendencies haven’t changed
A lot of the preseason and training camp discussions heading into the season centered around Miami developing a more balanced offensive game plan with a greater emphasis on the running game. However, after just one week, that plan didn’t materialize, as Miami only ran the ball 20 times compared to 45 passing attempts. It’s challenging to be critical when Miami’s offense totaled over 500 yards, but they’ll need to strike a healthier balance for sustained long-term success. In addition to being more balanced, they should be better with their attempts, as they only averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Having Terron Armstead back in the lineup should help improve that statistic.
- Defense will need to improve
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how they needed a top-10 defense for Miami to succeed. However, that wasn’t the case after just one week, as the Chargers’ rushing attack gashed them. Los Angeles ran the ball for 234 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. While it might have been a case of Miami daring them to run and trying to avoid Justin Herbert beating them deep, it wasn’t successful. Miami has two prolific run defenders, Zach Sieler and Christian Wilkins, who were less impactful than usual, and edge player Emmanuel Ogbah struggled to set the edge. There’s no need to panic after one game, but expecting Miami to win many games when they allow over 200 rushing yards isn’t realistic.
- Drop off without Armstead wasn’t awful
Last year, in games when Terron Armstead didn’t suit up or played less than 50% of the team’s snaps, Miami averaged 18.6 points per game and gave up 3.1 sacks per game. In games where Terron Armstead played more than 50% of the team’s offensive snaps, they averaged 28.8 points per game and only allowed 1.8 sacks per game. However, 2023 has started differently, with Miami scoring 36 points and avoiding sacks despite facing prolific pass-rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. Kendall Lamm and Austin Jackson deserve a lot of credit for stepping up, and with Armstead hopefully returning soon, the offensive line play should improve, especially in the run game.
- Tyreek Hill & Tua Tagovailoa are developing into a historic combination
Hill reached a new high in receiving yards for Miami, totaling 215 yards with a couple of touchdown receptions. In the 13 games that Tua has started and finished, Hill has averaged 112 yards per game. If we were to extend that to a full 17-game season, it would result in 1,913 receiving yards, which would rank as the third most all-time. Considering that Hill never achieved such highs in Kansas City, despite playing with star QB Patrick Mahomes, what we’re witnessing is truly special.
- Erik Ezukanma will have a bigger role
Ezukanma barely saw the field in his rookie season, recording only one catch in the single game he was active. In his second year, he began the season by carrying the ball twice and proving effective on both occasions. It’s hard not to draw similarities between those two plays and what Deebo Samuel did in 2021 when Mike McDaniel was his offensive coordinator. I’m not suggesting that the second-year wide receiver will have that impact, but it may add a new dimension to this potent offense.