How Dolphins' Offensive Line Is Limiting Miami's Offense

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 16, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 07:  Quarterback Ryan Tennehill, #17 of the Miami Dolphins, looks on between left guard Richie Incognito, #68 and left tackle Jake Long, #77, before the start of a play against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

Thursday Night Football showcased a clear problem for the Miami Dolphins: the play of the offensive line.

There is a reason Ryan Tannehill has thrown five interceptions the last two weeks and there is a reason Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas combined for just 53 yards on 22 carries with no scores.

The offensive line is not holding their respective blocks long enough for anything to develop behind them. Even the mighty Jake Long has struggled at times this season.

Defensive pressure is surging through Miami's offensive line and refusing to allow the Dolphins to develop an offensive rhythm or flow.

You can see Tannehill looking downfield and trying to establish a vertical passing game, but the five men up front are not giving him anywhere near enough time to take a competent drop back and dissect the defense.

This is a rookie QB that has looked great in the face of blitz packages and pressure, but is not being put in a position to properly succeed.

Tannehill needs the balance provided by a sound running game—the type of balance Bush was able to give early in the season when the line was playing well. Now, Bush and Thomas are both getting stopped at the line of scrimmage and relegating the running game non-existent.

The lack of rushing prowess in turn means less defenders near the line of scrimmage and more of them flanked around the field defending the pass. It is a vicious cycle and one that Miami needs to address sooner rather than later.

Opposing defenses are not forced to bring defenders into the box because they can get away with three or four and still wreak havoc in the backfield.

Keep in mind that Bush and Thomas' combined 53-yard output came against the 32nd ranked rush defense in the league. A unit that is allowing over 160 yards on the ground per week.

Clearly the problems are not stemming from Tannehill, Bush and the rest of the offensive weapons.

No, Miami's faults are on the offensive line and they are severely limiting the potential of this team moving forward.