Miami Dolphins: 5 Areas In Which The Dolphins Must Improve
The young season has been rough on the Miami Dolphins, but they feel it is more due to their own mistakes, than anything that has been done to them by their opponents.
In Week 1, they gave up the ball 3 times in a matter of minutes and the Houston Texans took full advantage of each one. Against the New York Jets, they gave up a late lead and missed a game winning field goal in overtime. They had the Arizona Cardinals against the ropes and down to their last down, twice, in what should been the final drive of the game. Instead the Cardinals tied the game on their second 4th down play, and a field goal soon ended the second overtime in two weeks. In all three games, the Dolphins held their own, and in the latter two, they were in position to get the win.
In the Dolphins locker room, they know they should be 3-1 instead of 1-3. They also know that they are not out of it just yet. The Dolphins are just one game back in the AFC East, after an extremely slow start by the entire division.
The issues Miami has faced in their losses this season are all correctable, and if they want to contend with the New England Patriots for the division title, then they will have to get work harder. Here are 5 areas the Dolphins need to focus on if they plan to be relevant later in the season.
Miami Dolphins Offense
Through 4 weeks, the O-line has only given up 8 sacks, but the number of interceptions Ryan Tannehill has thrown is disturbing. This usually falls on the QB, but the rookie has been under a ton of pressure which has rushed his decisions. The big boys up front need to work on keeping a bubble around their guy, allowing him to make the downfield play he has shown to have a talent for.
The Dolphins rushing attack has shown great promise, but in order to get the job done, the line is going to have to push harder and block further up the field. Second level blocking is critical for a successful run game.
Miami Dolphins Defensive Front
The Dolphins defense finally got to the quarterback last week, sacking Kevin Kolb 8 times, bringing the season total to 12. With a group that includes Cameron Wake, Jared Odrich, and Karlos Dansby this is just unacceptable. The Dolphins have too much talent for the front seven not to be getting to the quarterback. With the obvious deficiencies in the secondary, these guys need to be disrupting the opponent’s offense on every play. The game against Arizona shows that if the D gets in on the QB, Miami can contend with even the best in the league.
Miami Dolphins Secondary
If the front seven are being called out for not creating enough pressure, the secondary most definitely needs to be brought to task. In every loss, the opponents have been able to make crucial plays down the field when they needed it the most.
The big play has proven to break the Dolphins back, and if the team has any hopes of holding fourth quarter leads, the secondary needs to stay focused and play perfect football. Or, Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin need to bring in some better talent.
The woes in Miami are not entirely on the players. It is on the coaches to put the players in a position to win, and keep them there. In the last two weeks, the Dolphins have been in control of the game with the offense on the field in the fourth quarter. In both cases, the play calling was questionable at best, and the defense soon found themselves on the field trying desperately to hold off a last push from the opponents. In those two games it proved to be too large a task, and Miami’s 1-3 record shows the results.