The 2021 NFL season has not gone according to plan for the Miami Dolphins. Their 2020 5th overall selection from Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has not produced to the level most would hope and placed on IR after an early exit during the Buffalo Bills 35-0 victory during Miami’s 2021 home opener.
Both offensive tackle positions have been underperforming, including the 18th overall selection from the 2020 NFL draft Austin Jackson and team captain Jesse Davis. Also, Miami has yet to produce a consistent pass rush on defense, limiting a very talented defensive secondary production.
But all is not lost for the 2021 Miami Dolphins. During their overtime loss to an outstanding Las Vegas Raiders team during week 3 of the 2021 NFL season, they showed that they could overcome their multiple flaws with the play of clutch key players. The numerous bad play calls, blown pass blocking, and considerable blown coverage in the secondary were not enough to take Miami out of the game.
With multiple chances to outright win the game, Sunday Miami was never out of the running to close out a win against an undefeated Las Vegas team. But with so much improvement from week 2 to week 3, the 2021 Miami Dolphins shouldn’t pat themselves on the back just yet.
The offensive line still needs improvement across the board. They did have an improved rushing output compared to week 2, but their pass blocking needs help. 2021 2nd round pick Liam Eichenberg who played well at left tackle week one against the patriots, is trying to mast the right tackle position after playing on the left side his entire college career. Jesse Davis played well in spots switching to left guard, and Michael Deiter is still developing at the center position.
Mental mistakes continued to plague Austin Jackson at left tackle. His poor pass blocking continued against a very talented Las Vegas pass rush. In one play, he watches Yannick Ngakoue go past him without any thought to block him.
To continue their improvements, here are a few items that could quickly improve this Miami Dolphins team on the field going forward.