Monday, September 28, 2009

Long Season Ahead for Dolphins

DolFans never thought they would be able to say this, but the Detroit Lions have a better record than the Miami Dolphins. Whether it's the tough schedule or just bad execution, the reality is that Miami has dug themselves into a dangerous 0-3 hole.

With serious issue on both offense and defense, it's safe to say that the lack of defensive effort has ultimately destroyed Miami's chances in each game. The secondary has now allowed an average of 278 passing yards to opposing QBs. That's 835 total yards through the air in three weeks. It cannot be any more clear that the primary issue is found in the secondary.

Conversely, it's the only defensive issue (besides the faulty tackling).

The run defense has been in lock down mode weeks one through three. Only allowing an average of 66 yards on the ground, Miami's front line has been stingy with opposing tailbacks. Add that up and it's under 200 rushing yards in all three games.

So the question is, how can Miami fix such a porous pass defense?

If the Wild Cat was last season's solution on offense, then Miami needs a solution for this season's defense. Maybe not as creative as the Wild Cat, but equally as effective.

Altered blitz packages, unorthodox formations and confusion should be the talking points in this week's meetings amongst the coaches. When you have Jason Taylor on one end and Joey Porter on the other, applying extra pressure to QBs should be a primary objective on defense. Miami needs not to look far from their own division to see a New York Jets team that has executed that game plan marvelously.

The most peculiar aspect of Miami's season thus far is the shoot-themselves-in-the-foot aura that they have carried with themselves.

It was amazing to see the team only cough up 13 turnovers in all of last regular season. Now they've already surpassed the half-way point on last year's total. Not to mention, fumbles that were in crucial situations - in or near the red zone.

It was the no-nonsense football mentality that drove last season's better-than-expected results. That's what Bill Parcells came to Miami for and why Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland were brought on board. Clearly, the absence of that has reversed the outcome for the Fins.

And it does not get easier from here. The Buffalo Bills have threats at WR, with T.O. and Lee Evans. From there, the New York Jets stroll into town followed by the New Orleans Saints, with a bye week in between. Don't count out the two away games at New York (Jets) and New England once the home-stand is over.

Maybe come week 10 the Dolphins will have their first shot at a sub-par team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With the way things are going, the Fins face a long season ahead of themselves.

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