MIAMI -- If Saturday night’s preseason game was considered the dress rehearsal, the Miami Dolphins' offense may want to try on a few more outfits.
The Dolphins' starting offense had too many shaky moments in Miami's 25-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Sun Life Stadium. Miami’s first-team offense scored just three points on six drives. Dolphins’ starters played the entire first half and the opening drive of the third quarter, which ended on a poor interception by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill throwing into double coverage.
“I thought we’d score more points, quite frankly,” head coach Joe Philbin said candidly. “I didn’t think we’d end up with three points when we took the first offensive unit out at the beginning of the third quarter. I was expecting more production from them from a points perspective. We moved the ball well, but at the end of the game you’ve got to have points on the board, and I didn’t think we did that well.”
Miami’s offense has experienced growing pains this summer under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. There have been good moments -- such as the opening drive in the preseason opener – as well as questionable moments.
Lazor has pushed this group hard during the offseason, training camp and the preseason. But the time for experimentation is almost over. The Dolphins must figure out what they’re good at and capable of in order to be successful. Miami has one more preseason game Thursday against the St. Louis Rams before they host Tom Brady and the rival New England Patriots in Week 1 of the regular season.
The best part of Miami's offense Saturday was its running game. Knowshon Moreno made an impressive Dolphins debut by leading all rushers with 64 yards on 10 carries (6.4 yard average). Lamar Miller also rushed for 34 yards on seven carries. As a team, Miami rushed for 200 yards total against arguably the worst defense in the NFL.
Miami’s offense showed some flashes but certainly not enough to be fully comfortable heading into the regular season. Consistency in both passing and running will be key for the Dolphins' long-term success.
“I think we’re close,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of the offense. “You know we definitely need to take advantage of these next two weeks. You know, we have the time for a reason and we have to take advantage of it. That’s on myself and how I play, and every other guy on this team.”