Excellent read. This is only a portion of the article written by Sutton. Be sure to check the entire article HERE
The Phinsider wrote:
General Observationshttps://www.thephinsider.com/2018/5/5/1 ... se-offense
Please keep in mind here, even though this is every play of every opening drive in 2017, it’s still a smaller sample size. We can begin to formulate theories on what happened, but we must be flexible enough to adapt our stance as new information presents itself.
* We were poor at both running and throwing in the middle of the field.
* Julius Thomas had more targets than DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills.
* Julius Thomas had 24% of his yearly yardage on the opening drive of the game.
* Even if you remove Damien Williams’ 69 yard on the right side vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we were most effective running to the right.
* We had a low success rate getting the ball to Kenny Stills early.
* In nearly half the games, we committed a penalty on the opening drive. The Dolphins had 2 drives extended by penalty (vs. NO, vs. Den). Also, we declined 1 penalty in lieu of the accepted play (Parker @ Chargers, 11 yards), and an opponent declined 1 penalty in lieu of the accepted play (vs. Oak).
* We gave the defense a lead after the opening drive exactly 2 times all year. We won both games (@ Chargers, vs. NE).
* Opponents opened the scoring against us 5 times. We responded once (with a TD vs. NYJ).
* We spread the ball around generally speaking (yay) but did not attack different areas of the field (boo). Almost all opening drive throws were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
* I was surprised we didn’t give up any sacks. But we can’t have too many nice things, right? We had 3 turnovers: 1 of the INT’s was intercepted in the end zone (vs. NO) and the fumble lost by Jarvis Landry was on a drive that had just reached Chiefs territory.
The Joe Philbin teams struggled in the 1st quarter of games, and that phenomenon has floated in the wind like a candy wrapper, the same litter and germs exposing Adam Gase’s tenure to early game diarrhea. Why are Gase-led offenses better later in the game? Are the “opening scripts” designed by Gase and company simply not working? And how much do you attribute the illegal formation and false start penalties to the player and to the coach?
I know what some of you might be thinking: “This can all be explained very easily: Jay f***ing Cutler.” But I don’t think it’s that easy. Ryan Tannehill’s 1st quarter offenses under Gase have been poor - one could argue even worse - than Jay Cutler’s.
And here’s the thing: I feel like the Dolphins defense has been built to play with a lead for years. Think about the investments and talent we’ve had along the DL. Think about how situations may have differed if afforded the opportunity to “pin our ears back”.
It’s a multi-layered problem, and in the complementary and interdependent world of professional football, weaknesses must be remedied and/or masked at all costs. The 2018 draft class might help in this pursuit, but how much?
How do we fix our 1st quarter woes, Dolphins family?