Does anybody else hate 28-yard field goals as much as me? Maybe they remind me too much of the fist pumping Tony Sparano era, but boy do I hate them. Unfortunately against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night, the Miami Dolphins had three field goals of that distance or closer. THREE.
Last night the Dolphins had three stalled drives that ended with Miami having to settle for field goals. First was a 22-yarder after running back Lamar Miller got stuffed twice in the red zone.
At least head coach Joe Philbin didn’t do a fist pump after the field goal like his predecessor Sparano did all too much. (Was anyone else aware that Sparano is now the offensive line coach in Oakland? I missed that). In fact Philbin said after the game, “When we get a first-down-and-goal we have to be able to punch it in the end zone.”
Later in the game wide receivers Brandon Gibson and Brian Hartline each dropped potential touchdown passes from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Gibson was able to redeem himself with a touchdown reception in the second quarter.
The Gibson drop led to a 23-yard field goal in the middle of the second quarter. Then in the beginning of the fourth, third string quarterback Pat Devlin was unable to connect with wide receiver Marvin McNutt, which again led the Dolphins to a short 28-yard field goal from rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis.
Sturgis ended the third preseason game a perfect 3-for-3, but it’s still important to note that all three came because the offense inside the 10-yard line. The score was a cumulative 19 yards away from being 28-17.
I’m by no means giving up hope, but this Miami offense was supposed to be bigger, better, and faster. One touchdown with four drives inside the ten is not good enough. Sure, the offense did score one touchdown and it did have some positive things to take away from last night, but three field goals, less than 30-yards away, feels eerily similar to past Miami offenses.
The Dolphins have two weeks — and one more preseason game — to get the red zone unit working better.
On the bright side: we’re not Jet fans this morning because, boy, is it getting ugly over there!!