The Miami Dolphins are in the thick of the playoff chase but with this offense, they won’t make it.
There are five more games left on the schedule and the Miami Dolphins find themselves currently holding a Wild Card position.
The biggest problem for the Miami Dolphins is their running game and the second biggest problem is their play calling. Add them together and you wonder how this team will keep pace with Kansas City and how will they put points on the board against the Patriots and Bills. By all accounts, the Dolphins need to win three of the next five to have a realistic shot at one of the final spots but that is a big “need” given they have one of the toughest schedules.
The running back situation is atrocious and while the Dolphins looked better with Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed toting the ball, the reality is that they still are not the running backs you need when the game is in hand and you are trying to run out the clock. Miami has tried that, it doesn’t work and while leads against bad teams are easier, three and out drives against better teams will eventually catch up.
The running game is bad enough that the passing game can’t help it and defenses are not worried about the Dolphins running the ball on them. As a team, the Dolphins have run for 1,048 yards on 289 rushes. That is an average of 3.6 yards per rush. They have nine touchdowns.
Obviously, the Dolphins need to address this in 2021 but it’s too late for them in 2020. While they tried a bandaid fix this year, it didn’t work.
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The second problem, and to the credit of the running backs, Chan Gailey has not been a good play-caller. He has been inconsistent and erratic and frankly, some of his decisions have been downright horrible. He is not putting the running backs in situations to make plays. Gailey calls a completely different offense when Tua Tagovailoa is starting as opposed to Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Gailey needs to leave as soon as the season is over but his play calling is keeping the Dolphins from being competitive on offense. Against the Broncos, he was far too conservative and against the Jets, he called a similarly tepid game plan. He has to be more aggressive down the stretch but the problem is he has never been aggressive as a coordinator.
All of this adds up to a finish that could disappoint Dolphins fans who believe they have a shot at the post-season. That is 100% true, provided Gailey starts putting the offense in a position to win, stops the use of the Wild Cat formation that doesn’t work, and gives his running backs opportunities to make plays.