Why Are the Dolphins So Terrible? Five Problems With This Underachieving Squad
Photo by Marcus Coleman
The Miami Dolphins' first two games have been disappointing. Fans expected the team to perform much better thanks to all the offseason moves the team made. Last week's 23-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars proved the team still has major flaws, though, and expectations may have been set too high for the team.
So what's to blame for the Fins' lethargic start? Let's take a look.
Injuries have prevented Cameron Wake from releasing his usual kraken.
A strained hamstring has resulted in Cameron Wake's compiling the same stats as you have through the first two games — zeros across the board. Wake was a shell of his former self in the first two games. The fact that Wake has been so ineffective thus far is shocking, not only because the team just got done playing Washington and Jacksonville, but also because one would think the addition of Ndamukong Suh would open the flood gates for him.
The Dolphins' secondary has been brutal, and no help is on the way.
The entire Dolphins defense has been a problem in the first two games — that much is clear — but the secondary has been the most glaring problem thus far. Contributing to the poor performances has been the loss of safety Louis Delmas, with replacement Walt Aikens looking out of sorts and getting burned for big plays. Newcomer Brice McCain has been all over the map his first two games in Miami, one moment making a highlight play, the next being beaten numerous times all the way down the field on an opponent's scoring drive. Jamar Taylor continues to underwhelm, and fellow 2013 draftee Will Davis was just traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a sack of potatoes — so no help is on the way off the bench.
We're only two games into the season, and the Dolphins' secondary is already in shambles. That's not a good sign for a team facing much better quarterbacks on the schedule.
The Dolphins have the worst offensive guard play in the NFL.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins have some supershitty guards. There are only 71 guards that Pro Football Focus rates, and Jamil Douglas (59th) and Dallas Thomas (61st) rank toward the bottom. With Branden Albert constantly banged up, subpar guard play has shown up even more than expected this season, especially against the Jaguars last week.
The Dolphins decided not to sign proven free agent Evan Mathis because they were happy with what they had at guard. That gamble is already looking like a poor bet.
The Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh hasn't made his way to Miami yet.
This marriage isn't going anywhere, so the two sides need to figure it out fast. Reports are that Suh is already ignoring play calls and freelancing on the field because he doesn't believe in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's scheme. The team denies this, but it's just a sign of how quickly the honeymoon has ended for a player that the Fins just handed $114 million.
Suh was brought to Miami to whoop some ass, but instead he's looked like ass in the first two games. Opponents have constantly cut-blocked Suh, and he has reacted by being mediocre thus far in a Dolphins uniform.
The Dolphins have been putrid when running the ball.
Lamar Miller has been a ghost thus far. Miller has 67 yards on 23 carries through two games, which is definitely not what anyone expected coming into the season. Miller, coming off a 1,000-yard campaign, was many experts' pick to break out this year. Instead, Miller already has a banged-up ankle and a 2.9 average per rush to show for the first two games.
Miller needs to be a part of the offense if the team is to be as balanced as it needs to be to compete for a title, but thus far he's had no room to run on the few carries he's been given.