Can offense get fixed?

It probably didn't seem possible after the horrible showing in the opener against Tennessee, but the Dolphins offense might have been even worse in Sunday night's 16-13 loss at Cincinnati. And the question now is: Can this offense get turned around anytime soon?

There's legitimate reason for concern that it won't.

Why? Where shall we begin?

OK, let's start at quarterback, where A.J. Feeley -- much to the chagrin of Dolphins fans -- is proving, at least right now, to be no better than Jay Fiedler.

Yes, Feeley's arm strength allows him to make some throws that Fiedler can't make.

But Feeley has this nasty habit of trying to force things when there's nothing there, and he easily could have been intercepted four or five times Sunday night instead of just twice.

The other big problem with Feeley is that he seems incapable of avoiding a pass rush. Seriously, think back to last night and try to remember just one play when Feeley sidestepped a pass rusher. Can't do it, can you?

And this is not a good characteristic when your quarterback is operating behind an offensive line that is the worst the franchise has had in several years and probably is the worst in the entire NFL.

It's funny, before the season started one way to look at the offensive line was that it couldn't possibly be worst than last year's mediocre unit. Guess what? It is worse. Much worse.

Left tackle Wade Smith was so bad Sunday night, it was embarrassing. Left guard Jeno James again was called for holding. Right guard Taylor Whitley continues to get pushed around.

Shoot, on the first play of the game the official threw a flag at the offensive line and signaled a false start on "everybody but the center."

Again, as poorly as the offensive line is playing, it's hard to imagine that first-round pick Vernon Carey isn't better than any of those five guys. And if he isn't, what does that say for the Dolphins' decision to pick him 19th overall?

In fairness to Feeley, it's very difficult for the offense to do anything right now when the line can't block anybody.

Lamar Gordon ran hard Sunday night and he looks like he could be a very good back. But he won't do anything if he's got two defenders on him 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage the second he touches the ball.

The offensive line's inability to pass-protect also makes it difficult in the passing game because the ball has to be thrown so quickly.

Then there's the play-calling, which remains atrociously conservative.

Coach Dave Wannstedt's philosophy has always been to be conservative because that way you avoid mistakes and can let your defense win the game.

Sorry, but mistakes are being made left and right, and there are no big plays to compensate for them.

For crying out loud, throw deep once a quarter. Or run a double reverse. Or a flea-flicker. Or a halfback option. Something. Anything.

The Dolphins need to get cheap scores because the offense won't put together long drives the way it's operating right now.

So what's the answer to the question. Can the offense get fixed?

Again, we'll look at the glass half-full angle and say it's got to improve because it frankly can't possibly be this bad for very long.

But unfortunately, it's looking very much like the offense will struggle a while longer because things start improving. And even then, it's difficult to envision this unit -- as it's presently constituted -- ever becoming that dangerous.

We indeed are a very long way from the glory days of Marino and Co.


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