The Miami Dolphins entered the bye week limping and riding a 2 game losing streak, after an impressive start to the season, the Dolphins couldn’t have had their bye week any sooner.
With a Defense that was beat up and bruised and an Offensive Line that left their Quarterback battered and bruised, the Dolphins found themselves using the bye to right the ship.
But can the Dolphins really count on a bye week to solve their issues?
The underlying reasons to their past 2 losses have been that Defense suffering from key injuries, testing thier depth, and that Offensive protection scheme that has resembled termite infested wood more often than a brick wall.
The hope is this bye week gave their dinged up Defense the opportunity to heal and the coaching staff the opportunity to self evaluate their protection scheme and personnel.
Their secondary has had multiple players dealing with medical issues from Chris Clemons dragging a leg around with quad and hammy issues, to rookie Corners Jamar Taylor and Will Davis with their groin and toe issues, Nolan Carroll battling his shoulder issue, and Dimitri Patterson finally practicing for the first time in weeks on Monday.
For a Secondary that has been getting shredded at inopportune times the past few games, getting reinforcements could only help as the Fins get into the meat of their schedule playing divisional games.
With much needed rest for Middle Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe , nursing a strained pectoral and bum shoulder of his own, plus All Pro Cam Wake, who played all of 3 snaps before getting shut down against Baltimore, getting off that sprained knee, the front seven should see a boost in participation this weekend as well.
With that said, the bye couldn’t have come at a better time for this Defense that is ranking substantially lower than expected in statistical categories across the board due to the injury bug.
Hopefully with renewed health, this Fins Defense can right the ship coming out of this bye and carry the team to the playoffs as originally expected.
Which leads me to their pathetic protection on Offense, whether it’s been the Offensive Line or Backs and Tightends who can’t hold up on their assignments, this portion had to have been the trickier problem to correct over the bye week.
My reasoning behind this is because it doesn’t come down to getting their talent healthy like their deficiencies on Defense, but it comes down to a flawed philosophy and lack of talent.
Jonathan Martin has looked overwhelmed, Tyson Clabo has looked old, both Richie Incognito and John Jerry have been used wrong as they’re perfect fits for a power blocking scheme being miscast in a zone scheme, and although Mike Pouncey remains a stud, he can’t block everyone.
Daniel Thomas has left me waiting for Mike Gillislee to get an opportunity and Mike Sherman better wise up enough to move the pocket more while ceasing to call lateral running plays that get blown up in the backfield all too often.
Ryan Tannehill and the passing game have carried this team thus far and it’ll be interesting to find out how much more effective their ariel attack could be if Tannehill wasn’t plucking dirt out of his face mask and on pace to get sacked more than David Carr did on an expansion team.
Seriously, I wonder if the Dolphins understand how embarrassing that would be, as Incognito said it best, everyone on that Offensive Line deserves to be fired if they can’t right the ship.
While I feel confident the issues on Defense can be turned around moving forward by getting healthier with every passing moment provided they don’t experience any setbacks, knock on wood, my confidence in the Offensive protection up front is waning because the talent doesn’t match up with the scheme and I wonder if Mike Sherman is too hard headed to alter his approach completely.
This week’s opponent may not be an elite team but the Bills have played all their opponents tough. Coming off a bye and playing in front of a home crowd, the Dolphins better show their fans the hope they had in the bye week solving a majority of their issues wasn’t misplaced, while proving to themselves the 3-0 start wasn’t a fluke.
Want to see how the Fins come out of the bye? Then make sure to grab Dolphins Tickets for this week’s game against Buffalo.