This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel. Want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations? Then you need Comcast's NFL RedZone.
While there may be a handful of reasons as to why the Dolphins lost to the Patriots last week, red zone inefficiency is certainly not one of them. The Dolphins were two for two finishing off scoring drives inside New England's 20 yard line. But the two red zone possessions were quite unique.
On the first one, the Dolphins only needed one play to reach the endzone. The Dolphins used a mixture of 'Wildcat' and 'WildPat' to get to New England's 15 yard line. That's when the Dolphins busted out the spread option, with Pat White running right and flipping the ball to Ricky Williams, who did the rest. It was a well designed and well executed play that was called at the perfect time and completely caught the Patriots off guard. But nobody ever wants to give the coaching staff credit when they succeed, right? Eh - I suppose this isn't the time or place to start that argument. All I ask is to be fair - as much as we all kill the coaching staff for their play-calling at times, we also need to give them credit when the play-calling and design are absolutely perfect.
Miami's second red zone trip occurred on the opening drive of the second half. The Dolphins slowly matriculated the football down the field. But the key play on the drive as a 3rd & 5 play from NE's 14. After back-to-back Pat White runs, Chad Henne came back into the game and connected on a perfect pass with Greg Camarillo for 14 yards and a first down.
From the 2 yard line, the Dolphins then used the 'Wildcat' exclusively. Ronnie Brown ran left for a yard on first down, and probably would have gotten into the endzone if Jake Long didn't miss on a block of Brandon McGowan. Brown was then stuffed on a run up the middle on second down, setting up a 3rd & goal from the 1. I loved the play call of having Ronnie take the snap, roll left, and throw a rainbow touchdown pass to tight end Joey Haynos. Again, well designed, well timed, and well executed. Kudos to the coaching staff for the call.
Over their last two games, the Dolphins are 3/3 in the red zone. For the season, the Dolphins are a very efficient 65%. Let's hope for more continued red zone efficiency in the coming weeks.