Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland made getting after quarterbacks a priority in the offseason with multiple acquisitions. So far, the plan is working, but a different problem could sack the Fins’ potential special season.
The Dolphins are tied for the league lead in sacks; pulling down nine sacks over the first two games of the season. All-Pro Cameron Wake and newcomer Derrick Shelby have 2.5 and 2 sacks respectively between them this season.
The Fins are also bringing pressure from the inside of the line where tackle Randy Starks has 1.5 sacks through the first two games. All of this is happening while the Fins’ next pass rushing threat, Dion Jordan, continues to get acclimated to the NFL.
But, while the Dolphins’ defense is taking aim at opposing quarterbacks; the Dolphins offensive line is allowing opponents to tee off on second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Through two games this season, Tannehill has been sacked a total of nine times. Only one other quarterback has been sacked more than Tannehill, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden who has been sacked 11 times this season.
On Tannehill’s current pace, he will get sacked 72 times and even the toughest quarterback would not likely survive a season of taking hits like that.
But, Tannehill’s sack numbers are tied to how well the offensive line continues to gel in front of him. The Dolphins’ chose not to spend much money on the offensive line during the massive free agent spending spree and the only draft pick the Fins used on an offensive lineman has been a bust, Dallas Thomas.
Passing the ball and stopping the pass are the keys to winning in the modern NFL and so far; the Dolphins have been able to throw the ball and sack the opponents. Still, the Dolphins need to protect Tannehill better if they expect to make a playoff run.