NFL Wire News

Concern rises for Dolphins’ O-line


The Sports Xchange

DAVIE, Fla. — The offensive line situation for the Miami Dolphins might get worse before it gets better. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked five times Thursday against New England, and now right tackle Ja’Wuan James is injured.

Worse, Miami plays Buffalo and its man-eating defensive line next week.

Tannehill said it was New England’s games up front that gave Miami’s pass protection its biggest problems.

“We knew they had some good rushers, and they do a good job of getting to the quarterback whether it’s four or five rushers,” he said. “They don’t do a lot of overload blitzes, but they do a good job in the twist game and twists up front to create pressure.”

–Miami’s miniscule playoff hopes are on the line next week at Buffalo, where they’ve lost their last three games. A loss to the Bills would drop the Dolphins to 2-5 against AFC opponents and 0-4 against their division opponents.

Those records set the stage for tiebreaker misery in the unlikely event the Dolphins rally and get back into the AFC wild-card picture.

–Miami is 7-14 against AFC East opponents since 2012, which, because head coach Joe Philbin has been fired, can now be called the Ryan Tannehill era.

The Dolphins’ record against division opponents is a major problem; it means Miami can’t beat the teams it faces on a regular basis.

The Dolphins also extended their losing streak at Gillette Stadium to seven games.

Their last victory at New England was the famous “Wildcat game,” a 38-13 victory on Sept. 18, 2008, the day they debuted the “Wildcat” formation.

–Miami had 29 passes and five rushes in the second half of Thursday’s 36-7 loss at New England. That followed an early-season trend under ex-head coach Joe Philbin of abandoning the run once they fell behind.

But that seems to put too much pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who hasn’t yet showed he can consistently carry an offense.

Miami trailed New England 19-0 at halftime and cut its deficit to 19-7 early in the third quarter. But New England got a field goal on its next possession to extend its lead to 22-7, and practically end any hopes the Dolphins had of going back to their running game.

“We got beat in some 1-on-1 situations,” interim head coach Dan Campbell said of the running game, and we had a couple of runs that weren’t real good.”

Running back Lamar Miller ended with nine carries for 15 yards. The Dolphins finished with 12 carries for 15 yards. In the second half, Miami had five carries for six yards.

Tannehill was 19-for-29 passing in the second half for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

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