After the embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins are still in the hunt for the playoffs sitting at 7-7. With that being said, a lot has to happen for the Fins to make a playoff spot. The number one priority is winning on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium.
Most quarterbacks around the league struggle with pass rush of course. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill last Sunday not only struggled but was trampled in the backfield time after time. He was rushed on about every play. Clearly, the offensive line did not play to its full potential as Tannehill was sacked nine times. According to Pro Football Focus, he completed 2 of 10 passes for only 17 yards when the pressure was on him. Not much success in that area against the Vikings.
Other than the Tannehill struggles, 35-year-old veteran running back and Miami native Frank Gore has suffered a foot injury and will not return this season. Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage and Brandon Bolden will take over at the halfback position.
RB Kenyan Drake will have more of a significant role now that Gore is out. He is averaging only 7.3 carries per game; however, it will increase with the absence of Gore. Drake has been utilized more on the passing game this year than running with 44 receptions; both numbers should have a clear increase in these last two games. Ballage and Bolden have played acceptable with both being a solid one two punch at the back up running back position.
Veteran safety Reshad Jones suggested that he is not useful at free safety than he is at strong safety, where he has been playing for eight years. This means when he plays strong safety he can be in the box more where it allows him to use his strengths, which one of them is to defend the run. With him playing more at the free safety position he ranks just 55th in the league this year against the run, according to Pro Football Focus.
Lastly, the Dolphins signed DT Kendrick Norton off the Carolina practice squad. The former Miami Hurricane has hidden talent that shined when he was at The U. With a good skill set on the D-Line and great size if the Dolphins like what they see out of the former seventh round pick, they could possibly sing him to a futures contract and have him stick around. The Dolphins allowed a boatload of rushing yards against the Vikings; big run after big run was being displayed in Minnesota. Anything on the D-Line can help this Fins team out. Hopefully, this can be a vital piece that the Fins are missing.
The Miami Dolphins end off their last two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars at home and away at Buffalo against the Bills on December 30.