Sunday, September 8, 2013

Despite win, Dolphins' O-line a major concern


The offensive line was considered a weakness going into this season for the Miami Dolphins, and its play during the team's 23-10 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday validated that concern.

Despite missing two starters, the Browns' defensive front had its way with Miami's front-five, recording four sacks and frequently collapsing the pocket on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"The starting point of every passing game is protection, and we have to do a better job," head coach Joe Philbin told reporters after the game, according to the team website.

Right guard John Jerry and left tackle Jonathan Martin both had rough outings, giving up multiple pressures and doing little to ease fans' concerns over the stability at their respective positions.

Neither did much to help in the running game, either.

The 20 total rushing yards by Miami was the third fewest in a single game in franchise history. Lamar Miller, expected by many to develop into a quality starter this season, gained just three yards on 10 carries.

"I think we averaged under one yard per carry. That's not a good way to live in the National Football League," Philbin added. "You've got to have balance. Obviously we did not have that today."

The inability of the line to protect the quarterback or generate a push in the running game was the primary reason that the Dolphins went into halftime with a 7-6 deficit. The unit showed improvement in the second 30 minute, however, as the offense sealed the game with a pair of lengthy touchdown drives.

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