Prior to the start of the current 2015-2016 Season, analysts believed that the Miami Dolphins, a team that plays in the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) would mount a serious challenge to the New England Patriots, the squad that won last year’s Super Bowl.
The Dolphins played well offensively last year, owned a developing defense, as well and signed defensive lineman Ndamakong Suh in the offseason from the Detroit Lions. It was believed that the addition of a “defensive stud” like Suh would give the Dolphins the extra help they needed to become dominant and a force to be reckoned with against foes in the East Division and in the entire AFC, as well.
It hasn’t worked out that way at all. In fact, Miami is ranked twenty-eighth in total defense, well below what was expected for it. This squad gets torched every game for an average of three hundred ninety-one yards and, worse yet, gives up an alarming average of 5.7 yards on every play run by an opposing offense.
In fact, teams that take the field against the Dolphins have been scoring more than twenty-six points per game which has forced the team from South Beach to reach the end zone frequently in order to have a chance to win. The Dolphins have been unable to score enough which is why this disappointing squad has a Won-Loss record of 4-7 and is 0-4 in the East Division.
Those numbers spell doom for Miami this year and Head Coach Joe Philbin has already been fired. The team’s offensive coordinator has lost his job, too.
But it is not only the offense that has underperformed. As noted earlier, Miami’s defense has been giving up points “in bunches,” yardage, too. It is porous and now, with five games to go and little to play for, it could conceivably start to play even more ineffectively.
However, if players on this squad want to find their names on next year’s roster they will have to give the coaching staff reasons to keep them on the team. That means Miami’s offensive and defensive athletes need to start performing at a high level. The offense will score if its line blocks well enough to give the quarterback time to plant his feet and throw accurate passes downfield.
And Miami’s defense can get itself noticed too, by making plays and keeping opponents out of the end zone. The Dolphins played well defensively last season and have clearly played less efficiently this year.The defense has been hurt by star edge rusher, Cameron Wake, going down to injury for the season. But the ability to perform at a high level exists.
For that reason, it will be interesting to see if Miami’s underperforming defense can “find its stride and its pride” in the next few weeks so that the team can finish on a high note. The Dolphins will look to have a big performance from cornerback Brent Grimes and Suh.
Indifferent play on the gridiron won’t accomplish anything. Athletes on this squad have to play “all out” to succeed.
Courtesy of HNGN