Ultimately what the Miami Dolphins lack is consistency. On both sides of the ball. Part of their defensive woes in the past two games (apart from playing the league’s best offense in the New England Patriots) has been because the Dolphins have failed to keep the defense off the field with long, point-scoring drives.
Remember those first two games under Dan Campbell when the Dolphins put on an offensive clinic against the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans? Yeah, that seems like a century ago. The Dolphins have put up just 24 points in their last two contests, and that is because they have abandoned their creativity.
Yes, the Buffalo Bills and Patriots have better defenses than the aforementioned teams. But with all the talent on the Dolphins’ offense, they should be able to put points on the board and move the ball and give their defense an occasional break. But they haven’t.
We’ve seen too many Jarvis Landry wide receiver reverses. Ryan Tannehill has focused solely on passing to Jarvis, and teams are starting to read it. Throwing the ball downfield like they did to Rishard Matthews so much? That’s gone the way of the dinosaur. Instead, Bill Lazor has replaced plays with big play potential to quick screens and throwing the ball horizontally instead of vertically.
It feels like we haven’t seen Ryan Tannehill roll out of the pocket since last season. I simply don’t understand why we don’t roll him out more on play action and missed direction. His decision-making improves on the run, as does his accuracy and ability to make plays with his legs. He becomes a dual-threat quarterback, and can make defenses guess, which leads to big plays down the field.
When was the last time Bill Lazor used the read-option to get Tannehill or RB Lamar Miller in open space? It feels like forever. Instead, we are keen on running the same running plays over and over. Granted, Miller has had more production as a result of more touches, but defenses will start to read this soon, eliminating his ability to run for big gains behind an average offensive line.
Blame the offensive woes of this team on its “inadequate” talent on the offensive line, or on Ryan Tannehill. I think that would be unfair. Look at other teams with mediocre offensive lines. Teams like the Patriots. Their offensive schemes works around these deficits, and the result is they continue to score points and move the ball with will. The Dolphins need to become one of these teams, instead of insisting on doing something over and over that does not work.
My message is this: Dan Campbell and Bill Lazor, play to your strengths, not to your weaknesses.
Let’s get some creativity back into this offense!