Written by Steven Wilson at 11:45 AM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Despite finishing 11th in the League last season in red-zone efficiency (56.52%), the Miami Dolphins offense has sputtered through the first seven games when it comes to scoring touchdowns near the goal line.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, the aqua and orange converted just 25-percent of their red-zone trips leaving Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor wanting more.
“We are not productive enough,” he said. “I have confidence we know what we are doing and we know the plan. We just have to be a little more productive. It doesn’t take a lot to change it.”
The Dolphins have left their fair share of plays on the table when it comes to red-zone trips.
The most notable opportunity left untapped came in the fourth quarter when Tannehill was intercepted on a pass over the middle. The Jaguars took over on their own 20-yard line after the touchback and left Lazor and Co. looking for an answer.
“You never want to give the ball away on the 5-yard line like we did, especially in that situation late in the game,” said Head Coach Joe Philbin. “I think we are 23rd in the league maybe right now, something like that. I had mentioned last week, the thing that needs to be addressed and communicated to the team was we talked about third down on both sides of the ball and red zone on both sides of the ball. Offensively, I think we were five-for-12 or something on third down, so it doesn’t look terrible, but I think four of those conversions were runs if I’m not mistaken. The third down red zone areas has got to be better on both sides.”
Even though it doesn’t add up to a red-zone miss on the stat sheet, near the end of the second quarter last week, a 10-play Dolphins drive stalled on the Jaguars 25-yard line. The result was a successful field goal from Caleb Sturgis, but still left the team wanting more from long possessions.
“We certainly have to get it in,” Lazor continued. “I think we probably emphasized it as much as we could this past week and still didn’t change it. We have to find a different way. We will.”