MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — For a season that looked so promising during training camp, things sure went wrong in a hurry for the Miami Dolphins in 2015.
The Dolphins were awful in the first quarter — not that they were much better after that.
But too often the Dolphins looked as if they weren’t ready at kickoff, which is something the next coach will need to change.
That’s just the start. An organizational shake-up has been ongoing — coach Joe Philbin and his offensive and defensive coordinators were fired during the season, and general manager Dennis Hickey departed last week.
Unless the Dolphins retain interim coach Dan Campbell, which is unlikely, they’ll soon hire their ninth coach since 2004.
But what really needs to change is the team’s record. The Dolphins went 6-10, their seventh consecutive season at .500 or below.
Here’s a final look back as Miami begins another long offseason:
SLOW STARTS: The Dolphins were outscored 96-47 in the first quarter, the worst differential in the AFC. They scored a first-quarter touchdown in only three games.
“Hard to explain,” executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said. “It’s hard to play balanced football when you’re being outscored by 40-plus points in the first quarter. It puts pressure on your offensive tackles. It puts pressure on your defensive secondary. There are a lot of things when you get off to these bad starts that hurt.”
In the other three quarters, Miami was outscored by a total of 30 points.
OTHER STATS: The Dolphins allowed exactly 4,000 net yards passing, the highest total in the franchise’s 50 seasons. But they ranked worse — 28th in the NFL — against the run, compared with 21st against the pass.
The defense did rank first in one category — with 79 rushing plays for negative yardage.
Offensive imbalance was an issue all season. The Dolphins ranked ninth with an average of 4.4 yards per rush, but threw the ball 65 percent of the time, third highest.
Miami converted 31 percent of its third downs, third worst. Ryan Tannehill was sacked 45 times to tie for third most.
QB REGRESSION: Tannehill fell to 29-35 as a starter, and his completion percentage, touchdown rate, interception rate and passer rating were all worse than in 2014.
However, Tannehill’s accuracy on deep throws improved significantly. He had 57 completions of at least 20 yards, 16 more than a season earlier. His average of 11.6 yards per completion was by far the highest of his four-year career.
“I like Ryan. He’s our guy,” new general manager Chris Grier said. “We can win with Ryan. We are moving forward with him, and we are going to build a competitive roster at all positions.”
IN THE DIVISION: The reason the Dolphins finished last in the AFC East for the first time since 2007 is that they went 1-5 against the other teams in the division. They were outscored 74-31 by the Bills, 65-34 by the Jets and 46-27 by the Patriots.
“We have to figure out a way to win in the AFC East,” Tannenbaum said. “Being 1-5 is not ever going to get us to where we want.”
LOOKING AHEAD: The Dolphins have the eighth selection in the draft. That’s the highest pick they’ve taken into the draft since 2012, when they selected Tannehill.
The most pressing need for upgrades this offseason will be at defensive end, linebacker, cornerback and guard.
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