Nobody can forget the game when the Miami Dolphins unleashed the Wildcat formation upon the New England Patriots, and stunned them with a 38-13 win in Foxboro.
This week, Miami is prepared to play New England again with hopes that they can rejuvenate their once-heralded formation.
This season has not only shown that Miami has been very vanilla with the Wildcat, they also call it at questionable times.
Against the Jets, the Dolphins used the Wildcat several times, with little-to-no success. Specifically, they called the formation on a second-and-15, after a false start penalty.
The timing of this play was very questionable, considering the down and yardage.
The key for any quarterback on a second-and-long is to turn the play into third-and-manageable by gaining a small to medium chunk of yardage. Not only did the Dolphins set themselves up for a third-and-long, they ruined the momentum of Chad Henne by taking him out of the game.
Henne had the best game of his career against the Jets, and it would have been even better had he not been taken out on momentum-killing plays.
While Dan Henning is a a very smart offensive innovator, he fails to grasp the concept of where and when to run the Wildcat, which limits the success of both the formation and the offense.
While I am certainly no expert on game-breaking offensive schemes, there is one thing I do know. Location, location, location. The Wildcat can be much more effectively run in the opponent's red zone, specifically close to the goal line.
The quarterback is a field general, and it is a necessity to keep that field general on the field at all times.
The Dolphins have also made a habit of being very predictable, not only in the Wildcat, but in their offense as well.
Kansas City showed us an example of the heights that the Wildcat can still be taken, by creating a reverse pass that resulted in a touchdown.
Until Miami proves they can be creative with the Wildcat, it will continue to get stopped; and until Miami uses the Wildcat in smart situations, it will continue to yield unfavorable results.
What Will Get the Wildcat on Track?
The answer is very simple: Innovation, creativity, and intelligence. Those three things will help Miami achieve the results that they want.
How do they gain these results? Call the play at the right times, create new wrinkles that uses an assortment of different players, and execute those plays.
It is simple, yet Miami has failed to grasp this concept.
Miami will not stop running the Wildcat, and it will be interesting to see what they have in store against New England on Monday Night Football this week.
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