This post is sponsored by XFINITY from Comcast.
As Tony Sparano pointed out on Monday, the Dolphins inability to finish drives hurt their chances last night against the Jets. The offense drove into the red zone four times on Sunday - more than they did in their first two games combined. Things went well on their first two trips, too. A good mix of Wildcat runs and Chad Henne passes resulted in two touchdowns on their first two trips.
But late in the game, the offense was unable to get into the endzone. And wouldn't you know - Dan Henning's play calling was suspect yet again in a key situation.
Many will want to focus in on the final possession. But I want to go back to the drive immediately following the Braylon Edwards 67 yard touchdown. The Dolphins did a great job answering back, marching down the field with ease and getting back into the red zone in just four plays. Following a penalty and a Chad Henne completion to Brian Hartline, the Dolphins had a 2nd & goal from the two. On back to back plays, the Dolphins went to the air. Both passes were incomplete and the Dolphins settled for a short Dan Carpenter field goal.
Many fans questioned why Henning didn't call at least one running play from the two - perhaps a surprise give to Lousaka Polite. I won't argue. But I will just say if Henning did call a run - especially a fullback dive - and it was stuffed, the same fans question Henning's decision to call two passes would have been killing Henning for being too conservative.
The bigger story, in my view, was the defense's inability to stop the Jets inside the red zone - particularly on that final New York touchdown drive. The Dolphins did an amazing job keeping the Vikings out of the endzone a week ago. But the defense just wasn't up to the challenge yesterday and it ultimately cost this team.
For the season, the Dolphins are converting 57% of their redzone trips into touchdowns while holding opponents to just 38% - though the Jets were 2 for 3 last night.