The Miami Dolphins offense will need to be more productive versus the Cardinals.
Tua Tagovailoa may have won his first start last week versus the Los Angeles Rams but the offense didn’t contribute much in the Miami Dolphins 28-17 victory. While the defense lit up the Rams, and the special teams added a score, the offense totaled an underwhelming 145 yards of total offense.
While it can’t be argued that circumstances dictated a ‘conservative’ offensive game plan, the offensive looked ‘out of sync’ when they had the ball. There was a couple of ‘miscommunications’ between the quarterback and the wide receivers. A couple of other passes were flat out dropped (looking at you Preston Williams). These things are correctable.
What might not change is the absence of a running game. The 28th ranked Dolphins rush offense is pitted against the 25th ranked rush defense of the Cardinals. Unfortunately, Myles Gaskins, the Dolphins best back so far this year, was just put on IR and his backup Matt Breida is also injured; severely limiting the Dolphins depth at running back.
On the plus side, Patrick Laird practiced today so he might be ready to go Sunday. If not, free-agent disappointment Jordan Howard and rookie Salvon Ahmed are the only healthy players currently listed at running back on the depth chart. It’s possible that rookie Malcolm Perry (one career carry) or Lynn Bowden Jr. (4 carries from ‘Wildcat’) could see snaps at running back.
If the Dolphins can’t muster a ‘traditional’ running game, what else might they do to inject some energy into the offense? They could use Jakeem Grant in the backfield or run some “fly sweep” plays (see Robert Woods 4-yd touchdown from last week as an example). Grant showed last week what he can do in space; his speed is deadly! Maybe Chan Gailey could combine this with a ‘read-option’ play for Tua or a run/pass option (RPO). If Tua is indeed healthy, they can’t be afraid to use his athleticism; as long as Tua knows when to get down.
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In the passing game, the Dolphins wide receivers need to get separation versus the Cardinals secondary. Arizona is tied for 10th in the NFL in sacks (19) but they get pressure as a team; no Aaron Donald to contend with this week. Slant routes will be important in this game and the receivers can’t afford drops like they had last week.
At some point though the Dolphins must take some shots down the field on Sunday! Whether that means keeping an extra man in to block or moving the pocket (in both directions), the offense needs to create some explosive plays. Arizona is top ten in the league in 3rd down defense (36.7 percent) and the Dolphins offense isn’t good enough to sustain 10-12 play drives.
Well, these should be the goals for the Dolphins offense. Do you think they can do it?