DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are ranked second in the NFL in total rushing defense, and fourth in the league in yards per carry allowed, at 3.1.
They’ve apparently fixed their most glaring weakness from a year ago, when they were 30th in the league against the run. However, these efforts from the defense haven’t been matched, with an offense that has only scored two touchdowns in three games, and got shut out in Week 4.
“That’s my side of the ball,” Gase said of the offense. “When [the defense] is playing the way they are I feel like I’m wasting those good performances.”
Miami is dead last in the NFL by a wide margin in scoring offense, at just 8.3 points per game. The next-worst teams are Baltimore and the Giants, who both score 15.0 points per game. The Dolphins also sit last in yards per game at 249. The Colts are the next worst at 265.8.
The Dolphins started the season with adversity, from season ending injuries to Hurricane Irma postponing their opening game. Gase insists they can no longer use these factors as excuses.
“When you start late like we did, I can see it taking some time,” said Gase. “But we’ve had enough time. We need to be better at executing what we are doing and making sure that we have more guys doing their jobs than what we’ve had.”
Gase added: “The excuses are running out. There are no more excuses. It’s either get the job done, or we’ll find someone who can.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt in the Dolphins’ shutout loss to New Orleans. He threw for 168 yards, one interception and no touchdowns, often failing to set his feet before delivering a pass.
“We’ve got to get [Cutler] comfortable in the pocket,” noted Gase. “We’ve got to let him be able to set his feet. That’s the number one thing that we’ve got to keep working on. We just need to get it where he has a clean pocket, and when he does have a clean pocket we have to make sure that he sets his feet and throws the ball the way I know he can throw it. He’s older now. He’s not 25 anymore, so those off-balance throws are tougher. They’re not going to happen like they used to.”
Cutler was sacked by the Saints four times in thirty-six drop backs last Sunday. He’s been sacked nine times in three games. “You can only make a throw if you’re upright,” said Gase.
The Dolphins match up with the Tennessee Titans at home this Sunday. A win could help salvage the season, bringing Miami back to .500 at 2-2. A loss, and a drop to 1-3, could be disastrous.
When asked how intense Miami’s practices will be this week, Gase said, “We lost 20-0. We need to go to work.”
Kickoff for Dolphins-Titans is set for 1:00 PM this Sunday, October 8th at Hard Rock Stadium. You can watch the game on CBS 4 and hear it on 560 WQAM and KISS 99-9.