The Miami Dolphins are a really bad offensive football team.
We knew that coming into the season and we’re sure of it now. The 275 total yards, the 10 points, the four turnovers—all in the first half against the Texans, mind you—was a miserable start to what will likely be a miserable season for a franchise trying to rebuild for the third time in the last seven years.
But the way the turnovers happened is what’s most troubling for the Dolphins, whose seven first-half possessions consisted of three interceptions, a fumble, two punts and a field goal.
Ryan Tannehill, the team’s rookie quarterback, threw interceptions on three consecutive drives in the second quarter. All three interceptions were the result of balls being tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Of Tannehill’s 36 pass attempts, six of them got batted down. That’s 16 percent. The 6-foot-4 Tannehill had a similar problem in his senior season at Texas A&M, when 19 of his pass attempts got batted down at the line.
Mike Sherman, his coach at A&M and the offensive coordinator with the Dolphins, insists the problem is correctable and that the coaching staff can do a better job of getting him in proper position.
“He has to find the passing lane,” Sherman told the Miami Herald. “You know guys are a little bit taller in this league, a little bit bigger, windows are a little bit smaller, and these guys have a lot of range. So it’s just something that he has to work through, and he will.”
But will it be a reoccurring problem?
If it is, Miami is in trouble. A pair of Tannehill interceptions and a fumble helped turn a 3-3 game with 1:58 left in the second quarter into a 24-3 game by halftime.
The Dolphins don’t have an offense good enough to make up for his rookie mistakes.
You’ll be seeing plenty of teams try to exploit Tannehill’s weakness in the weeks to come, and given the way the Texans were able to break open a closely contested game, you have to wonder if other teams will be able to do the same?