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WATCH: Is the Miami Dolphins offensive line really all that bad?

Miami’s 2023 starting offensive line is projected to be the same as 2022, yet their depth is much better than last year.

Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

For quite some time, the Dolphins’ offensive line has been the Achilles heel of Miami’s squad — at least in the eyes of many fans and analysts. However, would you be surprised to know that the Dolphins only gave up a total of 35 sacks in 2022 — tied for the 9th fewest in the National Football League alongside the Las Vegas Raiders?

Sure, you can point to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s ability to move within the pocket in order to evade opposing pass rushers combined with his quick processing ability and his propensity to get rid of the ball at such a fast rate as reasons for why Miami’s sacks allowed number was relatively low, but if that remains the case in 2023, then Tagovailoa (when healthy) will once again be able to mitigate the negative impact Miami’s offensive line could have on any given game.

But what about their negative impact in the running game, you say?

Well, Miami ranked 18th as a team in yards per rush last season, averaging 4.3 yards on the ground for every tote of the rock — and that’s without a scrambling type quarterback propping those numbers up. The Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens ranked one, two and three in that department largely due to the high yards per carry marks from their starting quarterbacks who all love to use their legs as effective weapons for their respective offenses.

Sure, the 18th ranked rushing attack — according to this metric — isn’t something to write home about, but it isn’t as bad as some people would have you believe.

So, what if Miami’s offensive line takes a step forward?

According to Mike McDaniel and other Dolphins’ coaches, Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson — the two linemen Miami fans are most worried about — were each trending upwards last season before their injuries. Can those two career under-performers finally put together solid, injury free seasons under the tutelage of new offensive line coach Butch Barry? If so, that would go a long way to allowing this Miami offense to take another step forward after the giant leap they made last season.

Regardless of how you feel about the Dolphins starting offensive line, their depth did get better with the signings of veteran players from around the league. Former first round tackles Isaiah Wynn and Cedric Ogbuehi were brought in to compete for starting roles, but if they’re unable to secure a spot in Miami’s “top five,” then they should at least provide decent insurance if injury issues arise.

Dan Feeney — a capable backup at multiple spots along the interior of the offensive line — will provide that same insurance at the guard and center positions.

Did Miami’s offensive line get remarkably better this offseason? No, probably not. But do they find themselves in a more capable position to handle inevitable absences when they’re faced with them throughout the season? I think so. I hope so.

Click the video below to watch Jake Mendel and myself, Marek Brave, debate this topic and more on the latest episode of Dolphins Detail on YouTube! Make sure you subscribe for more great Dolphins content.