Let's lose the hysteria. The season is not lost. The Miami Dolphins are 1-3 after their first 4 games, but have plenty of time to turn the season around, and face a crucial game this week at Tennessee. Let's check out which Dolphins' players stocks are up, and down.
While the running backs as a group for the Dolphins run for only 78 yards per game - 29th in the NFL - their yard per carry is just over 4 yards, which is 11th in the NFL. Against the Bengals, Jay Ajayi played well in the ground game, averaging 6.5 yards from 6 carries. After 3 games he's run for a total of 75 yards off 18 carries. While the statistics don't jump off the page, it is promising. Watch this space closely, as the coaches may just increase Ajayi's workload over the next few weeks.
After the Bengals game, there really aren't that many positives. However, Gase still appears confident, which is a good sign for a rookie head coach. He's not hitting the panic button. After the game, he commented that he's been in this situation before in Denver, during the 2012 season, where they went 2-3, but came back to win the next 11. The same thing happened in 2015 when he was the offensive coordinator at Chicago. "We struggled early and the more comfortable I got with the quarterback and he got with me, it made things easier," he remarked. "Guys started to learn what to do, we made fewer mistakes, we gave ourselves a chance." Gase has seen it before. He's composed, methodical and will set the ship right. I personally still have full confidence in our head coach.
One of the biggest problems for the Dolphins right now is an area that Adam Gase was hired for, to fix - the offense. Against Cincinnati the team produced only 8 first downs and are having real trouble converting third downs into first downs. More alarmingly is, right now, Ryan Tannehill is inconsistent. Good quarterbacks can make things happen, can ignite an offense. Unfortunately for Tannehill, that just isn't happening right now. The game against Cincinnati was definitely the worst performance on the offensive side of the football.
Mario Williams was brought in to replace Olivier Vernon, with the Dolphins' top brass hoping he'd return to his dominant displays in 2014, where he recorded 14.5 sacks, 36 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. The thought process was that converting him back to a defensive end from outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment would better suit his game. Unfortunately, Williams has only recorded 5 tackles and 1 sack after 4 games, even though he's only second the Ndamukong Suh in terms of snaps on the Dolphins defensive line. In 3 of the next 4 games, Miami face teams that did not make the playoffs last year, where we'll hopefully see him return to some kind of form.
Miami Dolphins Bright Orange, ‘Color Rush' Jerseys
And what about those Miami Dolphins ‘Color Rush' jerseys? The team wore them for the first time last Thursday, and let's just say...errr...what were they thinking? The bright orange color may not be to everyone's taste. Time to get the fashion police out....
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.