If you’ve even been loosely following the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 season you’ll know that things aren’t going great. That may be an understatement. Possibly an egregious understatement. Things are going pretty terribly, honestly. Miami has been outscored by a whopping 75 points so far this season, which gives them the worst point differential in the league by 16 whole points. The next worst team in this category is the Jacksonville Jaguars with a -59 point differential. The Dolphins offense is so bad that they, as a team, trail six quarterbacks in total yards so far.
The Dolphins showed some signs of life early in their week 5 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They made some long-overdue changes to the offensive line that seemed to help them not be a complete turnstile, even though they still weren’t great. Liam Eichenberg was moved to left tackle, Jesse Davis was moved to right tackle, and Austin Jackson was finally moved inside to left guard. These changes seemed to help give quarterback Jacoby Brissett a little more time than he had in weeks prior and overall the offense looked better against an all-around incredible Bucs team.
Despite that, the offense was still hard to watch. Brissett gets stuck on his first read and was as mobile as a skyscraper as he dealt with a hamstring injury. After a few promising early drives, the offense sputtered out. Errant throws and dropped passes abounded. The only bright spot on the offense was running back Myles Gaskin who had one of the best games of his career and showed everyone that he is a true playmaker who can make something out of nothing.
The defense followed the same pattern, starting the game against the Bucs strong, even looking like they might have found a way to contain Tampa Bay’s high-flying offense. That didn’t last long, however, and about midway through the third quarter, they seemed to completely give up on trying to play professional football.
Can anything turn this season around for the Dolphins? At this point, it doesn’t look likely. Depending on who you ask, getting Tua back on the field is either the best thing or the worst thing for this team. He’s objectively better than Brissett and has shown the ability to make quick passes and get through his reads, but if he’s constantly running for his life he might not have a real chance to prove himself. The offensive line needs to hold up if either quarterback on this team is going to have any realistic opportunity to get points on the board.
There are a lot of problems on both sides of the ball, neither the offense nor the defense is completely to blame for the ridiculously bad point differential. If this season is going to turn around it needs to start fast and Miami needs to be better in almost every aspect. They have the talent and the ability, but now it’s time to execute. They have a chance to get some momentum going this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, now it’s just a question of if they can figure it out against the (other) worst team in the league.