FanPost

Dolphins vs. Raiders - What made our offense work?

I'm sure that you all, just like me, are indulging in that blissful feeling you get after seeing your team win. Today's win was different than the wins we've been accustomed to experiencing - I'm used to feeling physically exhausted after a win because the whole game was stressful from beginning to end, with the game usually coming down to the wire and countless close calls where we could have ended up losing. 

Another way this game was different is that for the first time this season, we posted a score of 30+. We may have been the last team in the league to do so, but in the end our team got it done. All of this was quite unexpected, given the injury troubles we've been experiencing as well as the lack of performance of our offensive unit as a whole. 

This begs the question - how did the Miami Dolphins achieve such a feat today, especially considering they were without our "best player" in Brandon Marshall?

There are a couple things I believe may have attributed to the success we had today. First off is the success of the ground game, which is something we took for granted in 2008 and 2009 but has seemed to be a luxury as of late. The 186 yards accumulated on the ground is a pretty staggering number, although the 3.8 yards per carry is hardly an impressive number. However, by committing to the ground game, we saw Oakland load the box with 8 - sometimes even 9 - defenders, giving Henne the opportunity to make plays with his arm, which leads me to...

Chad Henne's performance. Is this something we can come to expect? I'll admit, his interception was one of the dumber mistakes I saw in this weekend of football, but the rest of the day he looked like a top-15 quarterback in this league. He hit his receivers in stride, he dealt with pressure, he had to adjust to MANY different personnel formations, and all the guy does is throw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. All of this without his go-to guy, the alpha receiver we all expected would instantly give the Dolphins 25+ point Sundays week in and week out...

How does it happen that our highest scoring game occurs when we're without our #1 receiving threat? Everyone knows Davone Bess is emerging as an outstanding wide receiver and quite possibly the best slot receiver in the game. What he does in working the short passing game is nothing short of magical, so we assume that he'll be able to produce in that area. What we also know is that slot receivers can only do their thing if they have the space with which to work, and that space is available because of coverage drawn elsewhere. My question heading into the game was, "How the hell can our receivers get separation on one of the best passing defenses in the NFL if we're without Brandon Marshall?" The Dolphins responded by having 7 different guys catch a pass, with a certain Marlon Moore (an undrafted rookie, I might add) making a huge play. You've gotta like what you see out of our young guys.

Another factor I might add is our defense's play. With Oakland coming in as the second-best rushing attack in the NFL, I expected them to have relatively good success with running the ball. The Miami defense obviously felt otherwise, limiting them to 16 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Oakland's inability to move the ball and generate sustained drives allowed the Dolphins to possess the ball for more time, which gave this less-than-explosive offense more opportunities to put the ball into the endzone. Of course, this is the same less-than-explosive offense who put up TD's of 45 yards and 57 yards, so I suppose they may hold a different identity for themselves. 

My question to you is this: What made our offense so effective today, compared to other games? And also, how do you feel about Dan Henning's playcalling in this game?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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