Miami Dolphins head coach found a way to make his offense the best in the NFL but it wasn't enough to win a playoff game. 2024 has to be different and there is a path to making that happen.
McDaniel will enter his 3rd NFL season, another year of experience is behind him. Now he has to use that experience to make better decisions. Where does it all start though? How do you make a number one ranked offense better?
For starters, we need to stop calling it a "number one ranked" offense. Miami's offense was good but we found out against the Cowboys, Ravens, Bills, and Chiefs that being number one doesn't mean much. It doesn't get you a playoff win and it doesn't get you to the Super Bowl.
Against the Chiefs, a depleted defensive unit allowed the Dolphins to keep the game close until late but the offense struggled and couldn't put up points. This needs to be McDaniel's offseason focus.
The first step might be the hardest. The Miami Dolphins need to stop relying on Tyreek Hill.
The Dolphins are two teams. One with Tyreek Hill and one without. When Hill is taken out of the game by a defensive scheme, the Dolphins struggle. In 2023, those games were against the Patriots in week 2, the Eagles, Chiefs, Bills, and Ravens. Miami didn't have an answer.
They need to stop trying to break the 2,000 yard single season barrier and just play football.
Jaylen Waddle should be the go-to in those types of games but he hasn't shown the consistency to take over when Hill is taken out. Waddle posts great statistics but the most important ones are those that extend drives, put points on the board, or open up other areas.
McDaniel's offense features Hill and it should but there are times when he has to call another WR number and there are times when that number should be a 3rd or 4th WR on the field. The numbers are quite glaring when we look at them.
- Tyreek Hill - 171 targets 119 receptions
- Jaylen Waddle - 104 targets 72 receptions
- Braxton Berrios - 33 targets 27 receptions
- Cedrick Wilson, Jr. - 38 targets 22 receptions
- River Cracraft - 12 targets 9 receptions
- Chase Claypool - 7 targets 4 receptions
Even if we include non-WRs in this list, there is a clear issue with Miami's passing game.
- Durham Smythe - 43 targets - 35 receptions
- De'Von Achane - 37 targets - 27 receptions
- Raheem Mostert - 32 of 25
Clearly, there is a huge dependency on Hill in the passing game and that can not be the case in 2024. If the Dolphins want to be more productive rather than simply put up a lot of stats, they have to balance the passing game a little more. Hill getting 140 targets is perfect but those extra 31 should be spread to other receivers. Sometimes, forcing the ball to Hill takes away an opportunity to extend a drive.
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