Are the Dolphins players destined for a 2018 run?

The Miami Dolphins have 4 more games after Sunday’s victory versus the Denver Broncos.

It’s conceivable that with the adversity the Dolphins have faced that they’ve hit rock bottom and the Dolphins offense and defense could play at a very high level with players jobs on the line for next season.

More importantly, the Dolphins are showcasing what talent they do have on this roster since head coach Adam Gase has intimated publicly that he likes the roster that he has in Miami.

Last season, with the Dolphins looking at a dismal season starting 1-4, Gase was able to use smoke and mirrors and re-tool his offense to fit the skill set of the Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill and take the pressure off by handing the ball off to Jay Ajayi.  The plan worked beautifully and Jay Ajayi became the star, but his experience was short-lived as he was later dealt to Philadelphia for a 4th round draft pick.

Adam Gase needs more from his players because what they’ve been able to do has been nothing short of a farce offensively and defensively.

The Dolphins absolutely need productivity from their offense which ranks 30th at 285.8 yards per game, 22nd in pass yards with 206.6 yards per game, and 29th with 79.2 yards per game.

Surely, the Dolphins haven’t had the consistency at the quarterback position and perhaps the Dolphins fans have already reflected all season long that the Miami Dolphins, at least the way that Adam Gase has formulated this roster cannot do it without Ryan Tannehill.

I’m sure that getting after it in the offseason with Jay Cutler looked great in theory, it all depends on which Jay Cutler the Dolphins would get.

For much of the season, Jay Cutler is responsible for only 4 wins.  On the other hand, the security blanket, in case stuff happens, Matt Moore is credited with one win.

In all, the Dolphins quarterback room took a step back going from 10 wins last season to 5 wins thus far. (Cutler earned a 4th win with the win today over the Broncos- 35-9.)

The Dolphins offense needs to build confidence and execute avoiding their biggest downfall-offensive pre-snap penalties-18 false starts, 16 offensive holding calls per nflpenalties.com. Penalties to the tune of  1.45 holds and 1.64 false starts per game, isn’t good nor good enough to be a contender.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins just haven’t been the pass rush warriors they were last season.  This season, the Dolphins have accumulated a grand total of 18 sacks this season versus 25 sacks that their opponents amass (ESPN).

With a new defensive coordinator in Matt Burke, the results were in, but then the Dolphins started getting tested in the red zone and began giving up rushing touchdowns, a statistical data point that the Dolphins were able to overcome earlier in the season when their red zone defense was giving up very few rushing touchdowns to start the season.

In the most pivotal of match ups, the Dolphins were exploited versus Baltimore and then overexposed versus the Raiders  by giving up two big rushing touchdowns to Beastmode-Marshawn Lynch.  Then came Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers of which the Dolphins collectively were unable to to stop the run from James Stewart, Christian McCaffrey, and Cam Newton, the versatile and multi-talented All Pro quarterback.

Heading into Sunday versus the Broncos, the Dolphins had not had a game with two or more turnovers forced, two safeties, and complementary football where both the offense and defense made plays.

Surely, the Dolphins won convincingly, but once again, where was this all season?

At this point, the Dolphins can begin a winning streak and carry it over into the 2018 season.

With the emergence of Kenyan Drake as a lightning quick running back and both Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry upping their productivity with 6 touchdowns each, there is something to build on.

At 5-7, heading into one more jaunt with the New England Patriots next Monday Night, anything can happen and maybe the Dolphins can get that feeling of beating their hated rival in front of the home crowd giving the fans something to cheer about this season.

 

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