Let’s be honest Dolphins fans, it has been a rough four weeks. Slow starts on both sides of the ball, mediocre pass and run blocking, an inconsistent defense, and an overall lack of big plays continue to haunt Miami week in and week out. But there may be a sliver of hope left for this team.
This week against the Titans starts a four-game home stretch that the Dolphins desperately need. Beginning the season at Seattle followed by a trip to New England in Week 2 clearly played a role in Miami’s slow start to the season. This isn’t an excuse for the team woes, the Dolphins obviously have some real troubles in overall team performance; however, having four weeks at Hard Rock Stadium could give a boost to the team’s effort depending on how the coaches and players have rallied together these past eight days after getting humiliated by the Bengals.
This week against Tennessee is far from a ‘gimme’ for Miami, so let’s see how the Dolphins have stacked up so far in four weeks and what we should expect from them in Week 5 of the season.
Here’s the truth: we are terrible so far on offense. For ‘per game’ stats we are ranked 28th in points, 29th in rush yards and 26th in total yards. The only decent team stat is being ranked 16th in passing yards. A big reason for this is the Dolphins’ inability to come out strong at the start of games. After four games, the Dolphins have totaled only 23 points in the first half. That’s not just bad, it’s sad.
This may also be a week where the team’s offensive grief continues. Despite Tennessee’s 1-3 record, the Titans are playing fairly well on defense. They are ranked 14th in points allowed and 13th in passing yards allowed. However, the Titans are only ranked 20th in rushing yards allowed per game, and if Miami is looking to jump-start their rushing attack, now is the time to do so.
Another note worth mentioning is that Jarvis Landry is ranked fourth in receiving yards with 375. While I may not personally be a big Landry fan due to his lack of size and lack of speed, the fact is the guy is passionate and he can create magic when the ball is his hands. Head coach Adam Gase needs to find a way to get Landry the ball fast and often as Landry’s ability to make big plays may be the thing that can rejuvenate this offense and help get other players involved again as well.
Miami’s defensive performance has been just as disappointing, if not more so than the offense’s. Currently, the Dolphins are ranked 28th in total yards allowed per game. Miami’s struggle to stop the run continues as the Dolphins are allowing an average of 129.8 rushing yards per game, and those struggles may continue this week as the Titans are ranked fourth in rushing the football.
Another sad surprise is the lack of pass defense from the Dolphins. Last week, Bengals receiver A.J. Green was unstoppable against Miami’s secondary as he carved them up for 173 receiving yards. It is obvious that one these young cornerbacks needs to step up in order to help out this struggling defense. The Titans are ranked 27th in pass yards per game, so this might be the opportunity for the Dolphins’ secondary to step up and start making some big plays.
The one bright spot for the Dolphins’ defense is their pass rushing. Currently, the Dolphins are ranked ninth in sacks, along with the Packers and Eagles, with 10 total sacks. QB takedowns benefit the entire defense, and this solid performance must continue if there is any hope of improving this unit.
Yes, in a way there is still some hope for this aggravating team. But until we start actually seeing a better performance from the Dolphins, I’m not buying into their mess anymore. Expect an even performance from both teams this week, and since both teams are 1-3, the winner will be the team that is actually trying to salvage their season.