The Miami Dolphins offense has been up and down all season, a problem for a team looking to make a run towards the playoffs.
Part of that has been that the team has played so well on defense and special teams, putting the offense in a position where it hasn’t had to do much to close out opponents. That, however, can not be expected each and every week. We have seen Miami’s offense struggle at times to move the ball, both with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa behind center.
Regardless of the quarterback (although I fully expect it to be Tagovailoa for the rest of the year barring any injury), Miami will need to get better at running the ball, period. Miami’s running game has been towards the bottom of the league all season and has only gotten worse as the injuries started to pile up. The Dolphins should be getting Myles Gaskin back soon and Salvon Ahmed has proven to be a bright spot in limited action. Matt Breida has been a disappointment and Patrick Laird can’t really be relied on as a legitimate rushing or receiving threat. This team needs to get Gaskin back into the line up and running effectively to open things up for the offense.
On the receiver side of things, Miami’s wideouts and tight ends need to do a better job of getting open. Guys like Preston Williams, when he comes back to the lineup from injury, Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki and others need to start getting consistent separation when they are running routes. It’s unreasonable to expect for them to get open every play, because that’s not how life works. They could, however, do a better job of getting themselves a little more of a window for Tagovailoa to throw the ball into, which is a perfect segueway into the final point here.
Tagovailoa needs to be better.
If he is going to be the guy moving forward, Tagovailoa needs to do, minimally, two things in my opinion. First, he needs to get rid of the ball faster. Even he admitted a few weeks ago that he held on to the ball too long in the game against the Broncos, leading to his benching. The best QBs in the game make quick decisions and throw the ball as fast as possible in order to avoid taking sacks or getting themselves into trouble.
Second, Tagovailoa needs to change his interpretation of “open.” Defenses in the NFL are much better than the ones he saw at Alabama and his receiving corp isn’t going to be wide open all of the time. Tagovailoa is going to have to force the ball into tighter windows (hopefully made a bit larger by his receivers) and trust their ability to make the catch.
There are definitely more things he could work on, but those are two thing he would need to fix immediately for him to get into a better rhythm on offense.