Dolphins must spread out passing game


The aerial attack for the Miami Dolphins is supposed to be their cup of tea, the strength of the team. However, it’s horribly predictable in both targets and range.

Therefore, the Miami Dolphins must spread out their passing game.

When it comes to the targets, only three players have gotten the majority of looks from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews as well as tight end Jordan Cameron have been targeted 61 percent of all passing plays.

Three players get a wide majority of the targets. That’s not a balanced and spread out passing attack and it makes opposing defenses easier to shut down. Just cover Landry, Matthews and Cameron and all it a day.

First round pick DeVante Parker got eight attempts in the last two contests (with seven coming against Buffalo). Parker was supposed to be the team’s deep threat and they’re barely using him. That has to change.

Greg Jennings was targeted 11 times in the first three games. Kenny Stills has been thrown to eight times. These were players touted as weapons in the offseason yet, thus far, they’re virtually invisible.

So in between running for his life and trying to find a receiver, Tannehill is barely looking at 60 percent of his receiving corps. Whether the offensive line needs to give him some actual protection so he can check down or the likes of Jennings and Stills need to catch the ball when their number is called so Tannehill will have confidence in them, this needs to change.

But wait, there’s more.

Head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s short passing game isn’t putting their best playmaker in a position to make bigger plays.

Of Landry’s 35 total targets (27 percent of the team’s targets), two of them have exceeded 15 yards. Two. Only one was complete and it went for 36 yards. Miami didn’t attempt one deep pass to Landry against the Buffalo Bills.

Fortunately, as Matthews has become more utilized in the offense, Tannehill has thrown a few long balls to him. Of his seven targets, Matthews hauled down five deep passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Those stats, coupled with Parker becoming more involved in the last game, point to the idea that the Dolphins must use Parker and Matthews on deep plays more often.

If the Dolphins give their better receivers more long ball opportunities then they should focus on giving Stills and Jennings work on the short game. That way they can build a rapport with Tannehill, which obviously hasn’t happened yet.

Otherwise, why even bother playing them? They can’t be decoys if no one on the other team believes they’re going to get the football.

The Dolphins have a lot of messes to clean up to potentially right their sinking ship. But if they can’t do the one thing their offense was supposed to be good at, what chance do they have of fixing the run game or any of their defensive problems?

Spread out the ball to more receivers and throughout the field. It’s supposed to be a passing attack not a passing fancy.