The Miami Dolphins are 7-3 entering the bye week and are in a good position to make a realistic push for the playoffs if not the division. The offensive line is a big reason why.
There are not many places you may have visited around the web that didn’t showcase at least one article or comment about how atrocious the offensive line was playing. I would love to say this was one of those but we all know that is not true.
The offensive line has played bad but they are not anymore. Something clicked and they are playing some of the best football we have seen since the days of Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.
Sadly, we can start to pinpoint some of the change. Losing Austin Jackson hurt and Miami’s line struggled but the left side of the line was more of a problem with Liam Eichenberg. He struggled consistently and was only moderately better when Terron Armstead was playing.
With Eichenberg out with injury, Robert Jones is making a strong case not to lose the job when Eichenberg comes back. On the right side, Brandon Shell has made a strong case not to give the job back to Austin Jackson who returned last week but did not play.
The line over the last two weeks has protected Tua Tagovailoa and has opened the running game.
After starting the year with four consecutive games under 100 yards, the Dolphins have rushed for more than 100 three of the last four and four of the last five outings. Last Sunday, Miami ran for 195 yards.
Fans, bloggers, and media alike have all been singing the praises of the Dolphins offensive output but it’s upfront where it all is coming together. The line of Shell, Robert Hunt, Connor Williams, Jones, and Armstead are starting gel, if they haven’t already. This is unit that had nowhere to go but up and they have taken that step forward.
If this continues, and it should, the Dolphins offense is going to be better than what it is right now. The running game will open everything against opposing defenses.
So while we have tipped our hat to Tyreek Hill leading the league in receiving yards and Tua Tagovailoa climbing into the league MVP talk, or even the addition of Jeff Wilson and his impact after two weeks, we also need to tip our hat to the offensive line and coach Matt Applebaum who are getting better, stronger, and giving the Dolphins offense more options.