OFFENSE NOT GETTING IT DONE

The Dolphins are on a four-game winning streak and the defense is playing absolutely sensational football these days. But the winning isn't going to continue for very long if the offense doesn't start pulling its share of the load.

Sunday's game was a perfect example, and offensive tackle Todd Wade said it best afterward when he said he was "tired of having the defense win the game for us."

It wasn't just the penalties that were a problem for the Dolphins on Sunday; the team got smoked at the line of scrimmage; and again Jay Fiedler was unable to connect with his receivers on long passes.

It looked from the naked eye as though Fiedler badly overthrew an open Chris Chambers in the first half, while a missed bomb to James McKnight in the second half wasn't so clear-cut. In fact, a discussion among writers who cover the team had a portion suggesting it was a bad Fiedler overthrow, while another group said McKnight could have caught the ball.

With Fiedler not that popular with a large percentage of the fan-dom, you can already start calls for Brian Griese to replace Fiedler.

But if you listen to Coach Dave Wannsteddt, that's simply not going to happen.

"It's the entire passing game," Wannstedt said. "I'm not going to put this thing on one receiver, or one lineman, or the quarterback. When the opportunity is out there, we need to take advantage of it."

Wannstedt, while unhappy about the missed connections on the long ball, was more perturbed about the interception when it comes to Fiedler.

And that clearly was a play where Fiedler needs to exercise better judgment. If you recall, he tried to hit Chambers on a first-and-30 when the cornerback, playing a zone, dropped back to provide double coverage.

The better choice would have been to throw to tight end Randy McMichael, who was single-covered underneath.

But Fiedler isn't the only problem with the offense, even though he's not having a great year so far.

The biggest problem is up front, where the offensive line is getting handled too often. Against Jacksonville, it was pretty ugly, in fact.

But who's the main problem, and what can be done about it.

Well, the only change from last year is Wade Smith playing for Mark Dixon at left tackle.

Dixon could be getting close to coming back from his ankle injury, but he's still experiencing soreness and the Dolphins can't count on him just yet.

Where to play Dixon (and how much) is the big question facing Wannstedt and the coaching staff once Dixon gets healthy.

It's obvious he could make a difference up front.

For now, though, Wannstedt is sticking with the players he has on offense and hoping they get better.

"We're going to keep working on it, keep working on it," he said. "Same guys, no changes."

Those guys, however, need to start playing better.

The defense is playing championship-caliber football right now. It's time for the offense to start catching up.


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