Dolphins offense was pathetic under Bill Lazor


When the Miami Dolphins brought in Bill Lazor everyone was excited for a more open offense. An aggressive offense. What they got was abysmal.

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The Dolphins fired Bill Lazor today and in hindsight probably should have fired him along with Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle. But hindsight is, as they say, always 20/20. The Dolphins have five games remaining on the schedule and they will be lucky to win one of those remaining. What makes this season even more depressing is the fact that the schedule is favorable. It includes four home games of those remaining five.


Imagine if the Dolphins were playing to the potential we thought they had? Those four home games would be huge if the team were pushing for the playoffs. They are not of course and Bill Lazor was part of the problem.

Through 11 games this season, the Dolphins have scored more than 20 points two times. I will repeat that, they have scored more than 20 points, TWICE. Three of this years games saw Miami score exactly 20 points. Two of those games were good enough to beat Washington in week one, and Philadelphia three weeks ago. The rest of their scoring? 14, 14, 7, 17, 14. Yeah, that’s going to win you ball games.

Obviously there has been a problem. The scoring issues can not be attributed directly at Ryan Tannehill. Lazor obviously takes blame as well as the offensive line. Yet when you really look at the games Miami has played, one stat stands out far more than others.

The Dolphins can’t run the ball.

To blame Lamar Miller or Jay Ajayi would be a joke. Bill Lazor’s constant abandonment of the running game has led this team down a path that allows defenses to zero in on stopping only the Dolphins passing game.

In week 1, the Dolphins rushed for 74 yards, week 2? 42 yards. Week 3 – 102, week 4 – 59, week 6, 180, 7 – 248, 8 – 15, 9 – 106, 10 – 99, 11 – 70, and week 12 – 12.

The rushing totals tend to lean towards the Dolphins having trouble running the ball. That however is not the case at all. Looking strictly at Lamar Miller’s carries this year, it’s easy to see why those numbers are so bad. For the purpose of this article, I’m only going to look at Miller since he accounts for the majority of carries.

By week, here are Miller’s carries. In order from week one to week 12 and of course skipping the bye week. 13, 10, 7, 7, 19, 14, 9, 12, 16, 7, and 5. Those are the carries for the teams number one running back. 119 total rushes. As a team, Miami has 217 attempts on the season. That averages out to 19 per game. Opposing teams have rushed 360 times this season against Miami.

Miami has thrown the ball 419 times. That’s not balance. And that does not allow runners to get into a rhythm. Let alone the offensive line.

More perspective? Jonas Gray is the 2nd leading rusher with 31 attempts.

Finally to really drive my point home. Let’s look at the game situations for the Dolphins. Perhaps this is why Miami has abandoned the run so quickly during games.

In week 1 against the Redskins, Miami was 10-7 at the half and held the Redskins scoreless in the 2nd half. Finally putting 10 points on the board in the 4th quarter. Miami rushed 18 times total in that game.

Week 2 Miami was down 20-13 at halftime but pulled into a tie in the 3rd quarter. They rushed only 16 times. In week 3 Miami fell behind quickly going down 17-0 at the half. Yet Miami rushed 34 times for 151 yards in that blowout loss. Week 4 against the Jets saw Miami drop 20-0 at the half but ran the ball 43 times on the day. Two huge losses to division rivals and the Dolphins were balanced.

In weeks 6 and 7 Miami had their biggest scoring output of the season posting 38 and 44 respectively. Miami jumped out to a 17-3 lead against the Titans and ran the ball 32 times. Against the Texans, Miami posted 41 points at half-time running the ball 25 times in the game.

It went downhill quickly from there.

The Dolphins were down 19-0 against the Patriots at the half. Pulled within 12 early in the 3rd but only ran the ball 13 times the entire game despite the score not being out of reach until the 4th quarter. Against Buffalo the following week, Miami fell behind 19-7 at the break, scored to open the 3rd and opted to not continuing to run the ball despite having 106 yards on 23 carries.

Even in victory, Miami abandoned the run. Against Philadelphia Miami and Philly went to half-time 16-13 in favor of Philly. Miami rushed 26 times for 99 yards and came back in the 4th to win the game. A week later against Dallas, Miami was down by 14 at the half but ran the ball well finishing the game with 38 rushes for 166 yards. Still only producing 14 points.

On Sunday, the Dolphins rushed 9 times for 12 yards despite the game staying relatively close until the 3rd quarter when New York opened up a 21-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

These games show, at least most of them do, that Miami’s tendency to “panic” when they are losing comes at a cost of abandoning the run and making the Dolphins clearly a one-dimensional offense.

And that is why Bill Lazor doesn’t have a job today.