This post is sponsored by XFINITY from Comcast.
Last week I highlighted the misconception that the Dolphins struggle in the red zone by pointing out how Miami had converted on 67% of their red zone opportunities.
So what do the Dolphins do to back me up? They go 0 for 3 inside Pittsburgh's 20 yard line - settling for three short Dan Carpenter field goals.
When we all look back at Sunday's game, we're all going to remember the "blown call" that cost the Dolphins a late-game turnover and allowed the Steelers to kick the field goal that put them ahead for good. But the Dolphins could have easily avoided being in that situation by converting some of these red zone opportunities into touchdowns.
That second red zone trip in the first five minutes of the game, in particular, really bothers me. Dan Henning's play-calling was particularly atrocious here. What was he thinking running the ball three consecutive times after that Ben Roethlisberger fumble game Miami the ball at Pittsburgh's 13 yard line?
I'll tell you what it was - he was being stubborn. Henning and Tony Sparano were out to prove a point - that they are smarter than all of us and their team is physically tougher than the Steelers. The result? Three runs, eight yards, and three points.
Things need to change fast.
The Dolphins are now scoring touchdowns on just 50% of their red zone trips this year - good for just 18th best in the league.
Defensively, the Dolphins have been improving in the red zone. This was the first game in 2010 where the Dolphins did not give up a red zone touchdown despite allowing their opponent to reach the red zone at least once. And they nearly - just nearly - created their third red zone turnover of the season.
For the year, the Dolphins have allowed only 6 touchdowns on 17 red zone trips. Their red zone defense is ranked 4th in the league, limiting opponents to touchdowns on just 35% of their trips inside Miami's 20 yard line.