When the question of who is the most valuable player on a football team is asked, almost 10 out of 10 times the answer is the quarterback. They’re the one who has to make all the throws to the receivers and tight ends. They’re the ones that are in charge of calling an audible in order to give their offense the best chance to have a positive play. And more importantly, they’re the ones who are the commander in chief of their respective football teams.
For the Dolphins, it is clear that Ryan Tannehill has quickly developed into the leader of this team. Through the first four games of the season, Tannehill has led this team to two come from behind victories, shown excellent poise in the pocket and has shown the ability to make all the necessary throws needed to be a top quarterback in this league. One of the only negatives of Tannehill’s sophomore season is his inability to stay upright in the pocket.
Going into week 5, Tannehill is the most sacked quarterback in the National Football League. Even though the season is still young, Tannehill and the Dolphins must figure out a way that can help him avoid the pressure. But is it really Tannehill’s fault that he has been sacked a league high 18 times? In a way it is. He is still the one with the football in his hands. On multiple occasions, Tannehill has been sacked due to his inability to get rid of the football. However, it is not entirely his fault.
Let’s face it. The Achilles heel for the Dolphins this season has been the offensive line. During the first four games of the season, the Dolphins offensive line has shown that they are far from mediocre. This past offseason, the Dolphins allowed Pro-Bowl left tackle, Jake Long, to walk away with the hopes that Jonathan Martin can quickly develop into a premiere tackle. So far, Martin has yet to show any promise. Martin has allowed four sacks through the first four games of the season. He is the one in charge of protecting Tannehill’s blind side and sadly he has not been doing a very good job. If you remember the home opener against Atlanta, Tannehill was hit multiple times from his blindside, which caused him to lose possession of the football.
But it’s not just Jonathan Martin. The Dolphins also gave money to veteran right tackle, Tyson Clabo. In his seven years prior to Miami, Clabo has been nothing but a solid and consistent tackle. In seven years, he gave up on average just over four sacks per season. In his four games with Miami, Clabo has already given up over three sacks. Clabo was brought in to not only anchor the right side of the line, but also to give Martin a veteran leader to turn to in times of struggle. Unfortunately, they have both been awful this year.
The offensive line has also played a large part as to why the Dolphins are struggling to run the football. Gaining just over 81 yards per game on the ground, the Dolphins rank towards the bottom of the league. In order to have continued success with a young quarterback, it is imperative that you can successfully run the football. Although they have been able to get out to a good start this season, it is important that the offensive line starts creating bigger holes for both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas.
After the first four games of the season, the Dolphins are on pace to give up 72 sacks. Recently, Dolphins starting left guard, Richie Incognito, sent out a challenge to the offensive line. “If we give up 72 sacks, everybody should be fired. The whole offensive line,” said Incognito.
Even after a 3-1 start, there are still some concerns for this team. however, the inability to cover the opposing tight end and the lack of experience in the secondary are just minor issues compared to the horrid play of the offensive line. So Dolphins offensive line, it’s time to step up. No more giving up 4 sacks a game. No more getting beat by the opposing defense and more importantly, KEEP TANNEHILL PROTECTED! The outcome of the Dolphins season can very well depend on the offensive line. So far, they have been holding back the offense. If they keep this garbage up the Dolphins might not continue to win football games.