Miami Dolphins

These are the four reasons why the Miami Dolphins have the league’s worst offense

We all know the Dolphins’ offense is historically bad.

But now, thanks to updated league stats and the game film from Sunday’s 43-0 skunking by the Patriots, we know why.

The Dolphins, through Sunday’s games, rank last in the NFL in total offense (192 yards per game), scoring (5 points per game), first downs (11.5) and turnover margin (minus-6). They are last in rush offense (29.5), 30th in third-down offense (20 percent) and 29th in passing offense (160.5).

While Miami has the league’s youngest roster, the Dolphins’ veterans are failing the team as much as anyone — if not more so.

Not one position group is performing well, and some of the Dolphins’ biggest contracts are playing the smallest early on in the 2019 season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

This definitely is not the FitzMagic City.

In 18 possessions this season, Fitzpatrick has thrown four interceptions and directed just two scoring drives (a field goal and a touchdown). In the 80 plays, Fitzpatrick has been on the field, the Dolphins have managed just 293 yards of offense.

While this disaster is certainly not all his fault (more on that later), Fitzpatrick has not helped things. He is far and away the league’s lowest-rated quarterback (39.9) and his first of two pick-sixes Sunday was inexcusable for a Pop Warner quarterback, let alone a 15-year vet.

Read Next

Is a change coming?

Dolphins coach Brian Flores, when asked who is starting quarterback is, responded, “it’s Fitz.”

But ....

“But after a couple of weeks like that, we’re evaluating all positions. ... We haven’t made any final decisions yet.”

Jesse Davis

The Dolphins earlier this month paid Davis as a guard, but have been using him at the most valuable position on the field, left tackle.

It hasn’t gone great.

Mistakes led to at least two sacks and he’s consistently struggled with speed rushers. Run blocking hasn’t been smooth, either.

So is he playing out of position? Probably, even if Flores was loathe to admit it Monday.

“I think he’s done a good job at left tackle,” Flores said. “Again, it’s a new position. I think he’s done a really good job showing some leadership on this team and he’s a guy that obviously we extended him and we feel like he’s going to be here for a long time. I think we’ve got a good young nucleus of guys that we expect to be here for a while.”

Kalen Ballage

One could forgive Kenyan Drake for being frustrated with his role.

He’s ceding playing time to Ballage, who on Sunday ducked one pass, gifted a pick-6 with a bobbled catch on another, caught one of his five targets and averaged 1.5 yards per carry against the Patriots.

Drake, meanwhile, had more than a quarter of the Dolphins’ rushing yards on one carry.

Ballage’s struggles have basically been a two-year concern now. Yes, he did have a 75-yard touchdown run as a rookie, but in his 44 other career carries, he has just 121 yards — just 2.8 yards per attempt.

“Kalen is a professional,” Flores said. “He works extremely hard. I have a lot of confidence in him. I think he’ll get it corrected. But at the end of the day, he has to make those plays in the game, along with some of our receivers who had some drops as well.”

Receivers not named Preston Williams

They combined for four catches and 35 yards on 16 targets Sunday. That’s unspeakably bad.

Even worse: they left nearly 100 yards on the field in dropped passes.

Jakeem Grant had a touchdown bounce off his hands.

But he was Jerry Rice compared to DeVante Parker, who had zero catches on seven targets, including a perfect bomb from Fitzpatrick that slipped through his fingers.

“I think it was out of character,” Flores said of Miami’s drops. “I think if there is something we’ve been consistent with, it’s that. But you can’t take anything for granted. We’ll go back to the drawing board from that standpoint.

“It’s something we work on a day-to-day basis — throwing, catching, blocking, defeating blocks, tackling and all of those fundamentals. That’s why you do them because you want to be sharp in all of those areas. When you’re not, it hurts you in the game.”

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments