Miami Dolphins: Another poor performance


As of right now, the Miami Dolphins resemble someone living in a mobile home—smack down in the middle of tornado-alley—that just spotted a funnel cloud: in a state of emergency. After only two weeks into this NFL season, the Dolphins have officially pressed the panic button after falling to their inferior opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, 23-20.

Has anyone seen the defense lately? I haven’t. For the second consecutive week, this Dolphins defense—which was regarded as one of the top units in the NFL—has given up over 100 yards on the ground and has applied zero pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Before yesterday, outside of State College, Pennsylvania, had anyone ever heard of wide receiver Allen Robinson? The second year receiver torched the Dolphins secondary for 155 yards on six catches and two touchdowns.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up an astonishing 71 sacks last season, and started the season in week one right on cue: giving up five sacks to the Carolina Panthers. Add in the fact that the Jaguars were without their starting left tackle Luke Joeckel on Sunday and you have a recipe for success for Miami—especially with Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Ndamukong Suh coming to town. Well, the exact opposite happened. In fact, the Jaguars offensive line kept Blake Bortles cleaner than Ned Flanders’s language—a huge part of why Bortles had the best game of his young career.

There are many questions yet to be answered in Miami regarding this defense that, thus far, has vastly under-achieved. Is it defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s system? Is it that the players are simply not performing to their capabilities? Or is it that opposing coaches are coming up with ways to attack the Dolphins’ weaknesses? Whichever it is, it’s clearly not working.

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  • On the offensive side of the ball, the line’s performance was a friendly reminder as to why we should have spent the time, money, and resources this offseason to fix the biggest weakness on the team. Once again, in Jacksonville, the offensive line was out-of-synch, undisciplined, and had Ryan Tannehill under constant pressure throughout the game, especially when it mattered most: in the fourth quarter and backed-up deep into Dolphins territory.

    Ryan Tannehill played good enough to win the game, compiling 359 passing yards, two touchdowns, and connecting on 68% of his passes. But because Miami—for the second week in a row—couldn’t get the running game going (Tannehill was the leading rusher with 17 yards), it made the Dolphins a one-dimensional offense that had to rely on Tannehill’s arm. There’s no sugar-coating this: the offensive line failed this team when they needed them most.

    And now, frustrated, disappointed, and confused, the Dolphins find themselves at 1-1 on the season and have the displeasure of welcoming a familiar face, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills, into Sun Life Stadium for the Dolphins home opener next Sunday at 4:25 pm. The Bills, coming off a 40-32 loss at the hands of the king of the AFC East, the New England Patriots, will indeed be ready to continue to be the ultimate thorn in this franchise’s side. Under coach Philbin, and behind the arm of Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins are 2-4 against Buffalo. Often, this rivalry has turned ugly for the Dolphins, particularly their offensive line. Given that one of the best defensive minds, Rex Ryan, is now in charge of a defense that’s loaded with talent, you can expect the Dolphins offense to have their hands full on Sunday.

    Things aren’t looking good for this team moving forward.