The Miami Dolphins will look to get their season back on track when they conclude a three game road trip on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Miami has dropped two straight games, both against divisional opponents in New England and Buffalo.
They now find themselves with a 3-5 record and in 10th place in the AFC. The final Wild Card spot is currently being held by Pittsburgh, who has a 5-4 record.
The Dolphins certainly face an uphill climb during the second half of the season. Following Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, Miami will play five of their final seven games at home.
Each of the Dolphins three wins have come against teams with a losing record. Of Miami’s five losses, only one came to a team that is below .500 (Jacksonville).
During interim head coach Dan Campbell’s first two games at the helm, it appeared that the Dolphins had resolved some of their early-season issues.
Now two games later, it seems the team has regressed on both sides of the ball. We’ll have to see if they can right the ship on Sunday.
Here are the top Dolphins questions heading into their Week 10 battle in Philly.
Will Miami get back to running the ball more often?
A major critique of the Dolphins during the past two seasons is that they shy away from running the ball too easily.
During Campbell’s first two games as interim head coach it seemed that he was making a concentrated effort to resolve that issue, giving lead running back Lamar Miller 33 carries in a two-game span.
Miami won both of those games and Miller rushed for 113 and 175 yards, respectively, while scoring touchdowns in each contest.
The Dolphins last two games have seen Miller’s carries drop significantly, as he’s rushed the ball just 9 and 12 times.
Miller has found the end zone often since Campbell took over, scoring five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in the four games.
Can Ryan Tannehill start taking better care of the football?
Turning the ball over has become a big problem for the Dolphins this season.
They currently sit in a tie for 24th in the NFL with a minus-4 turnover ratio. Miami’s opponent on Sunday, Philadelphia, is 6th in the league at plus-5.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the main reason why those numbers are so bad.
Tannehill is on pace for a career high in interceptions this season. Through eight games he has already thrown nine interceptions which would set him on a path for 18 on the year, one more than his career worst 17 in 2013, his second season.
Last season Tannehill threw just 12 and during his rookie season in 2012 he throw only 13.
Interceptions aren’t his only problem though, as he’s already got five fumbles to his name so far this season.
Compare that to his previous three years in the NFL in which he fumbled 5, 6, and 4 times.
Is this the week that Miami figures out how to stop the run?
It’s no secret that the Dolphins have been one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the run over the past couple seasons.
Miami was absolutely gashed by Buffalo last weekend to the tune of 266 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries, an average of 7.4 yards per run.
On the season the Dolphins are ranked 31st out of 32 teams, giving up an average of 142.1 rushing yards per game. Only the Cleveland Browns are worse, surrendering 147.6 yards per game.
The Eagles have been a solid rushing team this season, ranking 10th in the league averaging 121.6 yards per game on the ground.
They get a steady mix from DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews. Murray has been coming on strong of late after a slow start to the season.
Will Dan Campbell bounce back after costly coaching mistakes?
Last week against Buffalo was the first time that Dan Campbell played the part of an overwhelmed, rookie head coach.
It started at the end of the first down when he choose not to call Miami’s last timeout with around 18 seconds on the clock with the ball close to Buffalo’s goal line.
Instead, the Dolphins rushed to the line and got a play off that left them with just two seconds before halftime.
He then sent his offense back on the field instead of taking the easy three points, and Miami failed to complete a pass from the one-yard line.
Later in the game, with the Dolphins trailing by just five points, he elected to accept a holding penalty against Buffalo on a third down instead of forcing them to kick on fourth down. The Bills threw a 44-yard touchdown on the next play that put the game out of reach for good.
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Watch Miami take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
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