In the last two weeks, the Miami Dolphins have played two of the worst defenses in the league in the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans. Offensively they’ve managed to score just 10 points in those two games.
Miami had an offensive touchdown drought that lasted nine quarters spanning back to a 23-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago. A fourth quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to wide receiver Davone Bess finally ended the streak for Miami.
“It was not a good offensive performance,” head coach Joe Philbin said after the game.
It all started with the Dolphins inability to run the football.
Buffalo entered Thursday night’s game against the Dolphins as the worst defense in the league in stopping the run. The Bills were allowing 163.7 yards per game on the ground. Four times this season a team had managed to run for 182 yards or more against Buffalo. Yet, Miami managed to run for just 60 yards against the Bills on Thursday night.
They didn’t do it by stacking the box by bringing an extra safety down in run support. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, it was as simple as the Dolphins offensive line getting manhandled up front.
“They weren’t bringing safeties down. They did a good job of shedding blocks and making tackles,” Tannehill said, via Salguero. “There were a few times I turned around and there was really just nowhere to run. And that’s with no safeties being in there. So you have to credit their front seven for doing a good job of making it difficult to run.”
Daniel Thomas led the Dolphins with just 33 yards on 12 carries. Reggie Bush had just 20 yards on 10 carries.
Tannehill was ineffective as well. The rookie completed just 14 of 28 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Both picks came on the Dolphins’ final two possessions of the game as Tannehill tried to rally the Dolphins to a victory.
“We had nothing going on,” Philbin said. “We weren’t throwing the ball well. We weren’t running it well. They did a great job on defense. We didn’t execute well on offense. It was a huge struggle on offense.”
The Dolphins offense has now been pretty much non-existent for the better part of the last three weeks. The road isn’t going to easier for Miami either. Next up for the Dolphins is a punishing Seattle Seahawks defense that ranks fourth in the league in both yards per game (296.8) and points per game (16.1).
In the Seahawks’ last two games, they’ve allowed just 145 yards passing combined against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. Unless something changes in a hurry for the Dolphins in the next 10 days, it could be another long afternoon for Tannehill and the Dolphins.