The Dolphins Look Like They’re Swimming Upstream
by Roberta B. Turner

It’s still very early in the NFL season, but even so the Dolphins have been remarkable. Remarkably good in the wins, and remarkably bad in the losses.

Last year, the principal weakness of the team was in the offensive line, some of it due to injuries but most from lack of talent at certain positions. This year, the OL started out holding its own but, again, injuries have required players to shift positions and the result has been inconsistent blocking for the quarterback and for the running game. Without Tua having time to survey the secondary, he is left to scramble and perhaps throw an ill-conceived pass.

The biggest disappointment, however, has been in the defense. Last year, the defensive line more than once bailed the team out of touchy situations to preserve wins or to put the team in a position to win. This year, the defensive line is porous, the secondary is open for business, and the opposing receivers have had a field day.

Of greater concern is that, especially against Buffalo, more often than not the defense didn’t look prepared for the offensive scheme employed by the Bills. They look and, in reality, were lost. Allen had all day to pass, or run, the running backs must have thought they were doing wind sprints in practice, and the receivers were open all over the field.

There is no question that, with the speed of Hill, Waddle, Berrios and others, Tua can move the team down the field and score points with the best of the opposition. But if he doesn’t have time to set up the result will be predictable.

This is no time to panic, but it is time to decide the root of the defensive problems and address them before the opposition stiffens in the coming weeks.