Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dolphins' pass protection woes a broken record


The Miami Dolphins are now on pace to set a dubious NFL record.

After taking six sacks in Miami's 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on track to get sacked 77 times this season, more than any other quarterback in league history.

The inability for the Dolphins to get any consistent protection took its toll on the offense for the fifth straight game.

"It’s hard to function offensively when you’re going backwards," head coach Joe Philbin said, via the team's official website. " It makes your job…it makes it tougher."

One of those six sacks came on the Dolphins' final drive, as Miami was looking to get into range for a game-tying field goal. A five-yard loss on an Elvis Dumervil takedown forced Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis into a would-be career long 57-yard field goal, which he missed wide left.

"You’re not in the field position where you’d like to take a sack on that particular play,” Philbin said. "I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – the starting point in the passing game is protection. You’ve got to have protection to function."

Tannehill was generally sharp passing the ball on the afternoon, completing 21-of-40 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown for a 86.1 passer rating. But on that play, he simply didn't have a chance.

"I just needed a half-second to get the ball off," Tannehill said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Among the other disappointments was Miami's deplorable 18-percent third down conversion rate and scoring a touchdown on just 1-of-3 red zone opportunities.

The Dolphins will use their bye week to examine and address the issues that have caused them to lose two straight after a 3-0 start to their season.

"We’re going to fix the problems that we have," Philbin said. "We’re not going to sweep them under the rug. We’re going to identify them, and find a way to improve.”

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