LONDON -- After an offseason of spending cash and draft resources to build up the defense because that was a club weakness a season ago, the Miami Dolphins find themselves in the unexpected position of having to fix the offense.
That unit is broken and all you need to do is look at the last two games in which Miami has scored only one touchdown. And that touchdown didn’t come Sunday as the Dolphins were shut out, 20-0 against New Orleans.
So fix the offense is the assignment. Except the team doesn't get an offseason to do it.
It has to be fixed. Now.
Because Sunday's loss not only exposed how terrible the offense is right now but actually reiterated issues the unit suffered a week earlier against the New York Jets in a 20-6 loss.
The Dolphins got little consistent good blocking from the offensive line.
Quarterback Jay Cutler was off the mark although he completed 20 of 28 passes for 164 yards with one interception. That one interception ended Miami’s best scoring chance because it came on a misplaced fade pass intended for Julius Thomas.
As with all things during this offensive drought, multiple things went wrong with the play.
Cutler threw a bad ball. Thomas failed to win a one-on-one matchup with a small cornerback. And, yes, the play call could be questioned because the Dolphins had a first down at the New Orleans 4 yard line at the time and running back Jay Ajayi, eager to play this game in his home town, could have used a confidence-building carry near the goal line in the first quarter.
Despite the fact Cutler failed to get the offense in the end zone and Miami’s offense has scored only one touchdown the past two games, coach Adam Gase dismissed the notion he should bench Cutler.
The Dolphins have the unique problem they can't pass effectively and apparently cannot run the ball well, either.
“Everytime we get something fixed,” Gase said, “something else pops up.”
The Dolphins passing game -- reliant on crossing routes, comebacks, quick sideline tosses and screens -- has no punch. This is the three-yards-and-a-cloud of dust passing game.
The Saints finished the game with more points (20) than the Dolphins had first downs (11).
The Miami defense played well enough to possibly win this game. Holding Drew Brees to 20 points is a feat.
But the defense never made a play that changed the game’s course.
Indeed, the Saints at one point lost 20 yards on a snap over the head of quarterback Drew Brees. And they still got a field goal on the drive.
The Dolphins say they have a lot of work to do to fix what ails the offense. But they can’t really pinpoint what ails the defense.
“It’s a lot of different things,” Gase said.
“It’s everyone,” Cutler added.
It’s been two weeks in which the Miami offense has failed to report for duty. The team is 1-2 as a result.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero