Miami Dolphins’ Offensive Line Woes Continue Against Buffalo Bills
The Miami Dolphins had seemed to turn the corner with their offensive line. While they were still on a pace to give up the most sacks that any Dolphins team has in history, most of that damage was done early on. Through the struggles early on and the losses of Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito due to the bullying scandal, the Dolphins have had to make a lot of changes.
Their opening day offensive line was Martin, Incognito, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry and Tyson Clabo. They traded for Bryant McKinnie and moved Martin to right tackle and Clabo to the bench. Once Martin and Incognito were removed from the active roster, they moved Clabo back in to the starting lineup and signed Sam Brenner of their practice squad to be their starting left guard.
After winning three games in a row, the Miami Dolphins were in control of their own playoff fate heading into Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Coming off of back-to-back wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots where quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns in each, they were the favorite to beat the Bills.
What happened on Sunday was the ultimate regression for a team that was improving every week. They gained only 14 yards rushing on 12 attempts and had a total of 103 yards and 6 first downs. The 103 yards are the third worst in franchise history and included was seven sacks and 10 quarterback hits for the Bills defense. The 19-0 loss for Miami hurts their playoff chances and showed a weakness in blocking that they have displayed all year.
While the defensive line for Buffalo was dominant, defensive back Nickell Robey got through on two blitzes untouched and had two sacks. neither the running backs or tight ends were able to block any of the blitzing linebackers or defensive backs, not that Buffalo needed to blitz. The seven sacks from Buffalo lost 46 yards for Miami, which is the third time they have lost at least 40 yards on sacks in a game this season.
With next week being a must win against the aggressive New York Jets, Miami has to fix the holes that Buffalo exposed on Sunday if they would like to keep Tannehill upright for 60 minutes.