DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are looking for answers on offense as they prepare to host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
The Dolphins are dead last in the NFL on third down conversions at just 21.2 percent. The Browns are the next-worst at 28.3 percent. The spread of 7.1 percent between the two is the highest difference between any two teams in the NFL.
These problems date back to last season. Miami was 25th in the league on third down in 2016. These problems have spanned over three quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, and now Jay Cutler.
“Last year, we were having minus-five to eight yard plays on first and second down,” head coach Adam Gase said Thursday of Miami’s difficulty on third down. “That will throw you off. When you have a negative play on first and second down it makes it tough on third down.”
Gase added, “It’s tough to convert in this league because [defenses] know what you’re going to do and they know you’re throwing it. There are a lot of good pass rushers in this league and it makes it very difficult to defend the quarterback.”
On that note, Gase was asked about the difficulties of calling plays in the NFL, and if it’s sometimes the best idea to choose a play at random rather than over-thinking the situation.
“I joke about it, that it’s like playing Battleship,” said Gase. “You really have no clue what the other guys are doing, anyways. You try to organize it the best you can and go off tendencies. All it takes is one game, and all the sudden the defensive coordinator flips all his tendencies. That’s done a lot. You try to give the quarterback and the players as many answers as possible.”
The origins of Battleship can be traced all the way back to World War I, where it was played by the French as a pencil and paper game. It was released as a board game by Milton Bradley in 1967, and now has apparently impacted the philosophy of at least one pro football play-caller.
Gase will try and sink Titans head coach Mike Mularkey’s battleship this Sunday, when the Dolphins host Tennessee from Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM. You can watch the game on CBS 4 and hear it on 560 WQAM and KISS 99-9.