MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins fans came into the preseason hoping that the team was finally on the right track and ready to win games. After four preseason games, those hopes have been dashed and a very long regular season is looming for the team and its fans.
Miami will be starting a rookie at quarterback, have no stars at wide receiver or tight end, will be starting a rookie right tackle and be missing its All-Pro left tackle, and will have a new secondary making its first regular season start together when the team plays Houston on September 9.
The Dolphins will also have a rookie head coach and a completely new coaching staff when they travel to Houston as well.
In the preseason, none of those elements came together in a meaningful way that could produce victories. Rookie Ryan Tannehill completed just 52.6 percent of his passes for 414 yards, 1 touchdown, and one interception for a quarterback rating of 66.9.
For comparison sake, last year, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was considered the worst quarterback in the NFL and hfinished the season with a quarterback rating of 65.4, just barely below what Tannehill did in the preseason.
But Tannehill isn’t one of the most concerning factors for the Dolphins heading into the regular season.
The Dolphins running game could never get established. Through four games, the Dolphins ran for 288 yards on 77 carries, or 3.7 yards per carry. Reggie Bush rushed for an average of 5 yards per carry alone last season, but was ineffective through the preseason.
The Dolphins offense converted just 34 percent of its first downs during the preseason and held the ball nearly 10 minutes less than their opponents. But perhaps most troubling for the Dolphins was the team generated zero interceptions through the preseason while Fins quarterbacks threw four picks, including a pick six interception returned for a touchdown.
The Dolphins defense, on average, gave up 134.75 yards per game on the ground and 221.5 yards passing per game in the preseason. The Dolphins defense also allowed opponents to score nine touchdowns through the four preseason games.
Combining those stats with player unrest at the release of Chad Johnson and the trading of Vontae Davis, along with the team’s plane hitting a jet in Dallas Wednesday night, and it’s easy to see why some Fins fans are already looking forward to the Heat tipping off this year.