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At a loss for points

Posted: 12/3/2012 8:05 PM

At a loss for points 

By Chris Perkins

1:16 p.m. EST, December 3, 2012

The Dolphins need to score more points. We all know that. It’s been an issue for years.

Coach Joe Philbin, whose team ranks 27th in the NFL at 18.9 points per game, mentioned it Monday.

“Overall, offensively, we’re not scoring enough points to win games consistently in this league,” he said. “I think that’s the bottom line.”

He’s right. But let’s look at the reason for that bottom line. The thing that became apparent in Sunday’s 23-16 loss to New England, and a number of other games this year, is the Dolphins don’t have the players on their roster to score more points.

This is a front office/scouting issue. And it can’t be fixed until the offseason, when there’s the draft (the Dolphins are loaded with one first-round pick, two second-round picks, and two third round picks) and free agency.



Getting players that can score might be more important than re-signing left tackle Jake Long, cornerback Sean Smith or defensive tackle Randy Starks. It’s a big deal. This is a scoring league.

Forget about seeing meaningful offensive improvement in these final four games. Anything you’d see is pyrite, Fool’s Gold. We’ve had a dozen games. That’s enough to see the truth.

There’s no amount of game-planning, or substituting, or blocking and tackling the Dolphins can do to consistently score more points. Their players aren’t good enough.

A few weeks ago you thought maybe if Reggie Bush can do this, or Brian Hartline and Davone Bess can do that, and then you sprinkle in a little magic from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, maybe, just maybe the Dolphins could become efficient enough to score consistently. But it’s not going to happen.

The lack of points is related to deficiencies on the roster. If the entire offense has a perfect day –Tannehill, Hartline, Bess, Bush, tight end Anthony Fasano, the offensive line, go right down the list – maybe the Dolphins can score 30 points.

But if someone makes a mistake, or has a bad day, it’s incredibly tough for this sluggish offense to recover.

They couldn’t recover from Tannehill overthrowing Hartline early in Sunday’s game the after he’d beaten Patriots defensive back Aqib Talib. Hartline was wide open. It was an easy six points. The Dolphins also couldn’t recover from losing a touchdown on that interception return by safety Reshad Jones. Off-setting penalties wiped out a much-needed score on that play.

The lack of points is bigger than the head coach, the offensive coordinator, the gameplan, or any player on the team.

The Dolphins held the mighty Patriots, a team that was averaging 37 points per game and on track to become the second-highest scoring team in NFL history, to far below their average. Most people, Bush among them, thought Miami would have to score more than 30 to win.

All they needed was 24 points. They got a gift on Sunday, and they couldn’t take advantage. The Dolphins were 3-for-13 (23 percent) on third-down conversions. They couldn’t keep drives going. They couldn’t score on big plays, they couldn’t score on defense or special teams.

The Dolphins seem to have their quarterback. The No. 1 priority in the offseason has to be getting him some weapons.

The Dolphins’ defense is good enough to get to the playoffs. So are special teams. It’s the offense where the Dolphins need major improvement, and that has to be the top goal of this offseason.

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Last edited 12/4/2012 5:53 PM by MrsMD22

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Posted: 12/3/2012 10:52 PM

RE: At a lose for points 

Yep, and spotting them a quick score after a muffed punt didn't help either.
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  • mlb1399
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Posted: 12/3/2012 11:03 PM

Re: At a lose for points 

Bess is solid and Hartline has surprised but we really don't have many playmakers on offense.  On top of that, our running game has disappeared, Bush's early season success slowed down and our OL has not been playing up to the level you would expect after investing a lot of money and draft picks.  Add that to a rookie QB who is still learning the position and you have a horrible offense.

I think most of us knew going into the season that this team was in rebuild mode.  They have surprised everybody but it's clear to see there are still gaps to be competitive at a high level.  

I think we need to continue to shore up our OL with mid round draft picks, draft playmakers on offense with at least 2 of our top 5 picks, get a corner and even a DE/OLB.  If we can add one more good pass rusher to Wake, Vernon and Starks, this DL could be in business harassing QB's.

Outside of this last week, our special teams have been much improved.  Fields and Thigpen are keepers.  Carpenter seems to have regained his mojo.
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:07 PM

RE: At a lose for points 

MiaFan1 wrote: Yep, and spotting them a quick score after a muffed punt didn't help either.

As well as the roughing the kicker which turned into a TD for the Pats. Two  costly plays on punts!
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Posted: 12/4/2012 9:24 PM

RE: At a loss for points 

it might be time for the miami dolphins to sue the nfl for bad officiating as well
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Posted: 12/5/2012 1:44 AM

RE: At a loss for points 

Nothing really new in that article, the NFL is set up to be a passing league and if you don't have a top QB your not going to score alot of points and win alot of games. Is Tannehill the guy??? doesn't look like it so far, 3 QBs Luck, RG3 and Russell Wilson are all playing much better than Tannehilll is now and look to be the QB's to run this league soon. I know everyone saying Tannehill doesn't have the weapons or even time in the pocket or he needs more time to polish his game but if I'm picking in the draft next year and there's a QB that I like I'm taking him, I'm not totally giving up on Tannehill but I'm scared enough by what I saw this season to hedge my bet. Better question is do we try to resign Reggie Bush and if we do what is his roll on the team because running him straight up the middle half the time is not working and catching passes out of the back field in open space doesn't seem to happen to offen. Can Martin hold up as left tackle? Who else do you have that can cover if you lose Smith, I admitt he is not the best but he's the best we got...Starks is playing well better at the beginning of the year than the end but we have lost quite a few defensive tackles, how many more can we afford to lose. All these players should be made honest offers at what the team values there play and let the chips fall where they may. To be honest Jake Long doesn't deserve to make more than 6 or at most 7 million a year, Smith is not consistant enough to make the big money he does deserve a raise but not the 5 or 6 some think and Randy is payed good and getting older. I can't think of anyone on the Dolphins deserving a big raise. All they have to do is look at the stands and see them half empty. The only one who deserves a hand at the end of this season is Ross for buying all the tickets so the games aren't blacked out.....
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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:57 AM

RE: At a loss for points 

They have enough picks to address many issues next year but they just don't have the right guy making the picks.

Jury's still out on Tannehill and Martin. Vernon is a no show so far as a situational pass rusher. Egnew and Miller are just no shows.

Another year, another uneventful draft.

Maybe it's Tannehill playing scared, butI thought Philbin and Sherman would be much more innovative on offensive ... instead we have Sparano ball.

Bess and Hartline are good "complimentary" receivers but when they are your "go to guys" your offense is limited.

Bush and Thomas as a tandem are mediocre compared to other teams.

Need a guy like we traded away (Marshall) and anything would be better than Fasano (this year's version)

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Posted: 12/19/2012 1:42 PM

Re: At a loss for points 

The Colts and Skins both have talent at WR. And elite talent. The Dolphins chose to get rid of Marshall for the sake of the future. No one thought this team would be a juggernaut on offense. So why all the huge expectations now? because no one has patience. But if the culture changes for the better, then the team will be better in the long run.

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