Dolphins Data: Breaking down Tannehill & Phin’s offensive/defensive stats

The Miami Dolphins are 2-3 and are a few wins away from becoming a threat to make the playoffs.  That’s right, I said playoffs, a word that hasn’t been used in the same sentence as the Dolphins since 2008.  We’ve all watched the games and know that the Dolphins are a couple of key plays away from being a 3-2 or even 4-1 football team.  The Dolphins, one would think, have a much better defense than their offense.  After all, it’s the defense that has kept the Dolphins in games while the offense has sputtered at times and turned the ball over in crucial spots.  While that is true, I found some interesting stats when looking through ESPN.com today.  Keep in mind, stats don’t tell the whole story, but this information is still pretty interesting.

The stat that surprised me most was that the Dolphins offense currently ranks #13 in the NFL, averaging 373 yards per game.  The defense actually ranks below that, at #15, allowing 343 yards per game.  I don’t know why but the fact that the Dolphins were this close to being a top 10 offense, surprised me.  I also thought the Dolphins defense would be ranked higher than 15th in the NFL.  They’ve been playing well, bending but not breaking for the most part.

Right now, the Dolphins running attack and defense against the run are the strengths of the team.  The Dolphins rank #8 in the NFL, averaging 136 yards per game on the ground.  Conversely, the Dolphins rank #1 in the NFL against the run, giving up just 61 yards per game on the ground.  These numbers help to raise the Dolphins rankings in overall offense and defense.

The weakness for the Dolphins is their passing offense and passing defense.  The passing offense is ranked #18, averaging 237 yards per game.  Meanwhile, the Dolphins defense is ranked #27 in the NFL, allowing 281 passing yards per game.  The passing offense has improved as Ryan Tannehill has improved, without question.  Some of that is because the Dolphins receivers are doing a better job of catching the ball and part of that is Tannehill being more accurate with the football.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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