Why the Dolphins Aren't Winning

T.J. MorrillCorrespondent INovember 13, 2009

MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 21:  Defensive backs Kelvin Hayden #26 and Antoine Bethea #41 of the Indianapolis Colts watch as Ted Ginn Jr. #19 of the Miami Dolphins nearly hauls in a touchdown catch at Land Shark Stadium on September 21, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The Dolphins are off to a rough start to say the least.

Their two wins over the Jets and a victory over the lowly Bills stand as the only successes of this season.

With a 3-5 record at the midway point, I have given plenty of thought as to why the Phins are losing—especially in games where they own the ball for 45 minutes or lead by 21 points. 

There are three main reasons I believe the Dolphins aren't winning games, and I will begin with the most obvious.


Lack of Receivers

Greg Camarillo and Davone Bess have been the most consistent wide receivers the Dolphins have had on the team so far this year.

Sure they both have pretty good hands, but neither really presents a big play threat or gets open regularly enough to be a favorable target for Chad Henne. 

Ted Ginn Jr. has been the biggest disappointment, as he has had a case of stone hands. He just can't catch anything (except a kick).

It's amazing how many games could have been won that haven't because of a dropped pass or two, not just from Ginn but also from the likes of Anthony Fasano and Brian Hartline.

When your receivers can't catch and can't get open, there is a serious problem with your offense. It prevents big plays from happening and makes the team one dimensional.

While a run game is extremely important to any team, it can't do anything if defenses don't have to respect the pass.



Paul Pasqualoni has been horrid as a defensive play caller.

His concepts are respectable, but it seems when something begins to work he stops doing it.

I don't know if any of you readers have noticed, but when the defense is aggressive and attacks the line of scrimmage with blitzes and whatnot, the defense plays better as a whole.

For example, against the Saints there was the perfect formula to stop that explosive offense and the Dolphins nearly held them to just three points in the first half.

There's been a common trend though: after the first half they try to make too many adjustments it seems. They come out in a protective, "don't blow it" mentality instead of continuing to attack and destroy the opposing offense.

The same is true of the offensive play calling.

I love—and I mean love—Dan Henning's playbook and schemes, but his play calling is indeed questionable. When the running game is getting into a groove he starts trying to pass the ball to the unreliable receivers instead of continuing to pound it down his rivals' throats.

The toughest part of it all is that neither of these strategies work. They haven't worked at all, but they continue to do it the same way.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting better results is not the way to do it.


Irresponsible Clock Management

Tony Sparano is a great guy and I think he has the team headed in the right direction.

But in games his use of timeouts (yes, I know sometimes it's Henne's fault) is bizarre, and the clock management at the end of halves is terrible, because they don't have two or three timeouts, they have zero or one. 

If any of you remember the Colts game—which is one all Dolphins fans wish to forget— the hurry-up offense was horrible, and Miami couldn't get into the red zone even with  almost four minutes.

This not Sparano's fault. As far as I know it's the players being sluggish and not hustling the whole way. 

Then, of course, some of it is the aforementioned play calling. Ehen you come out in the second half and throw on five out of six plays—resulting in two three-and-outs—not only do you give up the ball but it stops the clock. That's why the Saints had enough time to come back against the Phins.