The Miami Dolphins’ Offense is Struggling

by on March 6th, 2011
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Miami , who has been outscored 166 to 107 this season, has lost 10 straight games dating back to 2010. The Dolphins are also last in the NFL in scoring (15.3 points a game) and are 30th in sacks allowed with 22. In addition, Miami has only scored 20 points once this season.

Miami’s offense has struggled ever since Chad Henne took over the starting quarterback job in 2009. Henne, who has thrown more interceptions (37) than touchdowns (31) in his career, is currently on injured reserve with shoulder issues. Henne’s biggest problem is that he lacks touch and precision on his deep throws despite having a very strong arm. With Henne out, Matt Moore, who was signed as a free agent this year, has been handed the reins. Moore, who struggles throwing the ball down field, did an extremely nice job in the first half against the New York Giants on October 29. In the first half, Moore led the Dolphins to two touchdowns on three drives. Moore was 8-11 for 71 yards and added an additional 31 yards on the ground.Only one of Moore’s three first half incompletions was a result of a bad pass.

The strength of the Dolphins’ offense is at the running back position where rookie Daniel Thomas and the versatile Reggie Bush reside. Thomas is a physical back who has the ability to run between the tackles as well as get to the edge. The only obvious downside to Thomas is that he doesn’t have breakaway speed. However, durability might become an issue as he already has missed three games due to a hamstring injury. Bush, who did a nice job running inside versus the Giants (totaling15 carries for 103 yards for the game), is an explosive do-everything back. Bush, who is a good pass catcher out of the backfield, can also line up in the slot and be just as effective. The only downside to Bush, who is also a dangerous kick returner, is his durability. The Dolphins have Lex Hilliard, who is a special teams’ standout, and the versatile Steve Slaton, a smaller less talented version of Reggie Bush, as insurance.

Miami’s receiving corps is among the worst in the NFL. The only Pro Bowl caliber player in the group is Brandon Marshall and he has struggled ever since he has been a member of the Dolphins in 2010. The six-foot four Marshall, who isn’t sure-handed, is a big receiver who uses his size, strength and athleticism to get open. The Dolphins number two receiver is Davone Bess, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent. Although Bess has been productive as a slot receiver, he isn’t a prototypical NFL number two guy. Miami’s other receivers includes two speedsters Brian Hartline, who runs very precise routes, and fourth-round draft choice Clyde Gates.

Another issue with the Dolphins passing game is that they don’t use the tight end or fullback much. There might be good reason for that as Anthony Fasano, Jerod Mastrud and rookie Charles Clay are known more for their blocking then their pass catching abilities. Although Fasano, who has been productive (15.4 yards per reception) this year, has been targeted (19) just two fewer times than Bush.

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