Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins got the ball with a little over four minutes to go in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers and had they gotten a few first downs, it would have sealed the victory. On the other hand, they could’ve ran out the clock and left as little time as possible for Aaron Rodgers to come back and beat them.
On that drive, the Dolphins didn’t seem to have a true identity as they ran on first down, passed on second down and ran on third down before punting the ball away. Joe Philbin explained their way of thinking during that drive.
“Well, I’ll have to go back, but when we met as a staff, all the coordinators – we know the type of quarterback that we’re playing against – we decided. I told Bill [Lazor, offensive coordinator] that we were going to do whatever we have to do to get a first down, whatever the call. I told them to be aggressive. Kevin [Coyle, defensive coordinator] knew that, Bill knew that, Darren [Rizzi, special teams coordinator] knew, everyone in the department knew that and that’s what we decided to do.
“I didn’t think we protected the quarterback very well on those plays. We have to do a much better job. But that was decided before. We knew – you have to do whatever you have to do to gain a first down. Dom [Capers, Green Bay defensive coordinator] was playing coverage zero, there were eleven guys down, you executed. Again, you have to give them enough credit. They executed better.”
Ryan Tannehill was asked what the team was thinking on that last drive and he didn’t seem too happy with the play calling and the decision to not run out the clock on all three downs.
“That’s Coach Philbin’s call. He made the call to be aggressive and we didn’t get it done.”
It’s OK to be one or the other – milk the clock or be aggressive and try to win. However, don’t switch back and forth between the two. Pick one, stick to it and then do your best to execute. Instead, they sat in a gray area and it backfired on them.