Miami is springing leaks in a variety of places so here is a look at whose stock is rising and falling.
1. Offensive line: Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the Dolphins has been the lack of improvement on the offensive line. The team has four former first-rounders, including this year’s No. 13 overall pick Laremy Tunsil, but the results have been mostly the same. Miami has allowed 11 quarterback sacks in the past two games. Head coach Adam Gase believes this is the primary reason quarterback Ryan Tannehill hasn’t been productive. This group needs to get healthy fast for Miami to have a chance to string together some wins.
2. Run defense: It’s hard to figure this group out. Is this defense the one that was stellar in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, or is it the one which allowed 235 rushing yards to Tennessee on Sunday? The run defense has been on a rollercoaster ride this season. Just two games ago, the tackling was solid against the Bengals. Last week against Tennessee, Miami failed to tackle or get off blocks with any consistency.
3. Tannehill, quarterback: Let’s be clear that Tannehill isn’t to blame for all of the problems. But he’s the only player on offense who touches the ball on every snap, and he deserves some blame for not getting the job done. One of the biggest concerns is Tannehill’s inability to convert on third down, as the Dolphins are ranked 31st in the NFL at 28.6 percent. The pass protection often is bad, but Tannehill also struggles with holding the ball too long, which leads to sacks. He has 11 games left in the season to show improvement.
1. Jakeem Grant, receiver: The rookie showed in training camp and the preseason that he could be electric. That aspect of his game carried into the regular season Sunday when Grant had a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Titans. The return nearly got Miami back in the game, but the offense couldn’t do enough in the second half.
2. Matt Darr, punter: You know you’re watching a bad team if one of the most exciting aspects of the game is punting. Darr has been terrific this season. He averaged 49.7 yards per punt against Tennessee and had two inside the 20. He consistently helps Miami with field position, but too often the offense and defense can’t capitalize.
3. Damien Williams, running back: Miami’s backup running back is not the biggest or fastest player on the team. But Williams usually gives 100-percent effort in all he does and that has produced results. Williams posted 70 total yards last week, which included a 58-yard screen pass. His production has earned Williams more playing time.