Monday, September 26, 2011

Miami mired in mediocrity

Ugh. That's the general feeling I get with the Dolphins. They aren't so bad that they get blown out every game. But they aren't good enough to pull away from other average/mediocre teams when they have small leads and they can't close the gap when they keep it close against good teams.

Defensively this was supposed to be a good team. Last year we were good at pressuring QBs and preventing big plays. And we were great against the run. The big problem was offense where we couldn't run the ball and our passing game was limited to dinking and dunking. So we keep the defense the same, change offensive coordinators, and get new running backs. That should at least ensure that we don't get worse this year. Right?

Not so much. The defense rarely pressures the QB. We still can't cover TEs. And now the secondary is struggling, party because Vontae Davis has been hurt, but mostly because our safeties have been terrible. Against the Browns, McCoy was playing pretty bad. But he got one big play that resulted in a TD. And then he methodically marched down the field to win because we couldn't pressure him and we couldn't cover the underneath routes.

The offense has improved. Donald Thomas looks pretty good running the ball. Henne is moving the ball down the field easier. He is taking a few more shots downfield and is running when nothing is there. But we can't score in the red zone. We had one good play today that resulted in a TD. But after that we consistently kicked FGs instead of getting TDs. And a decent offensive day resulted in a measly 16 points. That's not good enough even with a good defensively performance.

But even with the offensive improvements there are still problems. The offensive line has problems protecting Henne. And Henne doesn't step up in the pocket to help them out. While he has thrown some good deep passes this season, Henne still seems a little too eager to check down. Its a little more understandable this year with the poor pass protection. But I'd still like to see a little more aggression. Marshall and Henne still don't have good chemistry. And sometimes Marshall looks like he gives up on routes. So for all the good the offense does it still isn't doing enough. And the ridiculous penalties aren't helping. I think we had as many > 10 yard downs as we did < 10 downs.

All of that adds up to long, close, and not very exciting games where we wait for something bad to happen. And for what feels like the past decade, aside from one year, it does happen and we lose. Unless this trend is reversed in a drastic manner I'm certain this will be Sparano's last year. And it should probably be Ireland's last as well.

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