Nine years ago — Oct. 12, 2014 — Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to run the ball on Third-and-8 late in a game against the Green Bay Packers.
Philbin, who was feeling “queasy” at the time, didn’t play for the win and the Dolphins fell to 2-3 with a loss to the Packers. That game ended on another questionable play call by Miami’s coaching staff — we’ll save that story for another day.
Miami finished 25th in yards per pass attempt (6.8) and roughly a decade later, it’s safe to say we’re witnessing a remodeled mindset and offensive attack. The Dolphins finished third in yards per pass attempt. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle led the league in yards per reception while Tyreek Hill finished second in both receptions and yards.
None of it would’ve been possible without Tua Tagovailoa leading the league in yards per pass attempt — along with a passing attack that never quit. NFL Analyst Warren Sharp took to Twitter on Wednesday with an interesting stat that speaks to how aggressive Miami’s passing attack was.
The Dolphins finished first with 51 percent of passes thrown at and beyond the sticks on third down. The Atlanta Falcons finished second with 50 percent, the New Orleans Saints were third at 45 percent of the time.
% of passes thrown at/beyond sticks on 3rd down:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 10, 2023
51% - MIA
50% - ATL
45% - NO
44% - KC, BUF, LV, NYJ, CHI
43% - PHI, DAL, WAS, PIT
42% - MIN, BAL
41% - CAR, JAX, HOU, TEN, TB
40% - SEA, LAR, LAC
39% - DEN, CIN
38% - DET, GB, SF, CLE
37% - NE
36% - ARI, IND
Running back Raheem Mostert noted that McDaniel apologized for the team not consistently running the football in 2022. That said, it’s hard to imagine McDaniel will not continue to lean on the trio of Tagovailoa, Waddle, and Hill throughout the 2023 season.