When the Miami Dolphins entered the 4th quarter of Sunday’s contest against the Ravens the score read 16-13 and the game was still up in the air. At the 12:06 mark Ray Rice ran it in for a 3 yard touchdown and the game seemed to be slipping away from the Dolphins.
With 10 points behind all the Dolphins could muster was a field goal by rookie Caleb Sturgis giving the Ravens a 7 point lead. But, the defense held out and Tannehill took the field once more to try and rally his team back to a tie and did he ever. With Tanehill scrambling and the constant pressure mounting around him, he rolled out and completed a beautiful pass to to Brandon Gibson for 46 yards taking the Dolphins to the Ravens 34 and a first down. It seemed almost inevitable that over time will be a foregone conclusion. That is, until one realizes the weakness of the Dolphins is the offensive line or lack there of. In the end the Ravens Dumervil pushed the o-line back to the 39 and made a sure field goal by the rookie a what if moment.
The Dolphins walked away with their heads down and the second loss of a young season leaving them at 3-2. Even though this record to some might feel like a victory still compared to years past it is not where the Dolphins should be and no one knows this more than Philbin given his comment –
“It’s hard to function offensively when you’re going backward”
From the beginning of the off season the offensive line has always been a question mark and not just on the left side. Tyson Clabo has allowed enough hurries to stall an offense that brought in a Mike Wallace to open up the field (Wallace lines up on the right) not to mention the lack of talent on the left side crushing the pocket and gaining the distinction of allowing the most sacks in the NFL.
So yes, the Dolphins are 3-2 and above .500, tied with the reigning AFC East champions the New England Patriots, but this is no time to be happy with that result. As stellar as the Defense has played, it is highly unlikely they can continue day in and day out to bail out the dismal offensive line. So what is there to do?
For starters, how about changing the play calling that obviously relies on a tight o-line. We have a quarterback that can run around, why not use that? Most of Tannehills best plays came under pressure with him rolling out to the side and making that incredible throw much like on Sunday with Gibson. Philbin stated after the game –
” we’re going to fix the problems we have. We’re not going to sweep them under the rug.”
I agree completely, but there is no fixing this right now unless some other team lets go of a premier left or right tackle. The Dolphins should play to it’s strengths and right now on the offense, that is Tannehill. Let the opposing defense come in, they are going to anyways so why not control it? Let them commit to the center and do what they want – close the pocket. In the mean time, Tannehill will be off to the side getting the ball to the play makers.
It is obvious there are some problems to look into while on the bye and the Dolphins staff should take stock in what they have and not into what they would like to have, thats what the off season is for. Up-tempo play, a mobile quarterback and a spread offense is what the Dolphins have and that can easily be better if just focused on as the o-line is what it is and not what it should be.