Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was harassed most of the game and the Dolphins abandoned the running game once again on Sunday as the Dolphins anemic offense once again showed its ugly side.
The Dolphins entered Sunday’s game one game below .500 and exited Sunday two games below .500 despite a more than acceptable defensive effort. Miami’s offense seems to be regressing and that is not acceptable. Not in any way. They should be getting better. They are not.
Excuses can be made for the right side of the offensive line where Ja’Wuan James remains out but no excuses can be made for the weekly penalties on his back-up Jason Fox. Fox is absolutely horrible and it amazes even the most devout fans as to why he is still employed by the team.
Fox has repeatedly been called for holding penalties and on Sunday he added an illegal formation penalty to his resume. Fox lined up but didn’t actually line up on the line of scrimmage. He is a right tackle, he can look outside to see if he is covered or not. He didn’t do that. The penalty cost the Dolphins a first down. As did two other holding calls. Drive killing penalties is what Fox is giving this team.
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For all of Fox’s problems the Dolphins offense can’t be blamed solely on him. The offense is stagnant and stale. It lacks conviction and it lacks a game plan. Miami is so quick to abandon the run that the Dolphins can’t find any sort of balance and that is not the fault of the quarterback or a negative on the running backs. It points to Bill Lazor.
On Sunday, Ryan Tannehill wasn’t very good. He was 13 of 24 completing less than 50% of his passes. Granted he was under pressure all game but he needs to be better with his throws. The one interception, a pick six deep in Miami territory was a horrible pass and while made under duress, it still wouldn’t have been completed if he got it over the linebackers head.
Tannehill is only partially to blame here. We all know that he is far better out of the pocket instead of in it yet Lazor doesn’t call for him to move outside. Lazor doesn’t call his number to run the ball. On Sunday the Dolphins didn’t run the ball. Not enough at least.
Lamar Miller carried the ball seven times for 44 yards. Jay Ajayi carried the ball four times for 13 yards. Tannehill added 13 yards on three carries. Two by design and one by escaping the pocket. In total, the Dolphins rushed for a measly 70 yards on 14 carries. That’s not balanced. That’s consistently Bill Lazor’s offense.
Making the stats look even worse, three of Miller’s carries and 23 yards of his total came on the opening series of the game. A seven play drive that ended at the Dallas 44 yard line. The Dolphins didn’t run the ball one time on their 2nd possession and on their third, an 18 yard run by Jay Ajayi was negated by a Jason Fox hold. The Dolphins Tannehill threw his pick-six interception two plays later. Instead of the Dolphins having the ball 1st and 10 at the 28, the Dolphins had it 2nd and 14 from their own 10.
Miami has all the playmaker’s you would want on offense at the skill positions. Many fans want to target Ryan Tannehill for the offensive struggles but it’s so much deeper than one player. It’s a combination of poor offensive line play and poorer coaching. Tannehill isn’t being put in a position to succeed and maybe he simply hasn’t given Lazor the trust that he can handle it.
Regardless the Dolphins offense is in dire need of change. Both at coaching and in the scheme of the offense.