One of the more frustrating things about watching the Miami Dolphins offense is no doubt their vanilla play-calling and the lack of shots taken downfield. Is it lack of protection? Bad play-calling? Are Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace overrated? The answer: all of the above.
It’s no secret that the offensive line has been unable to establish themselves at the line of scrimmage this season. For the most part, the running game has not been able to get going and teams are not respecting the run or the play-action pass as a result. Tannehill has been sacked more than any quarterback in the league and — not to make excuses for him — has not been able to sit in the pocket and wait for plays to develop downfield as a result.
The play-calling from offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is awful. I’m not going to call it arrogance or ignorance, but the only consistency from the offense this season has been the same boring and ineffective plays. Most passes are quick slants or throws into the flats and when they decide to finally take a shot at a deep ball, it doesn’t go for a touchdown if it is even completed.
The reason there is no consistency in that facet of the passing game is because they never use it. Throwing the ball deep keeps the safeties and the cornerbacks honest instead of the opposing secondary forever peeking into the backfield and protecting the short pass.
As for the overrated question regarding Tannehill and Wallace, that is also a piece of the equation. It’s hard to take the O-line out of this equation because their timing and chemistry is correlated to the amount of time the quarterback actually has to sit back there and let routes develop, but the fact remains that Wallace is one of the fastest guys in the NFL.
Just throw the ball up there and let him go get it. He gets paid a lot of money for that reason; it’s why he is here. Instead of using him as a big-play threat, Tannehill goes to him like a possession receiver and that isn’t Wallace’s game. Nevertheless, he is a professional football player and more specifically a well-paid wide receiver, so he has to find a way to make a play and help this offense out.
This weekend, the Dolphins will look to move pass their Monday night disaster against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will take on Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. If the Dolphins hope to right the ship, they better be prepared to get into a shootout. The Chargers average the seventh-most yards per game and rank fourth in passing yards, boasting almost 290 per game.