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Miami Dolphins need to improve on passing TDs

As the Miami Dolphins biggest game in years draws closer it is worth noting that coaches this week are looking for ways to score more points more consistently. The Dolphins scored a season-high 38 points against New England on Sept. 21.

But as Miami readies for the rematch this Sunday it finds itself in something of a scoring slump. Simply stated, one or two touchdowns per game is not enough to keep the current playoff push on course. And that's pretty much what the Dolphins are averaging these days.

The Dolphins have 209 points this season which means they average 20.9 points per game. In today's high-speed, high-scoring NFL that's only good enough to be ranked No. 23 league-wide in scoring.

And if you want to look what area of their offense the Dolphins need to improve most to step up the point-production, it is glaringly the passing game. The Dolphins have only 9 passing TDs this season. That means the Dolphins are tied for 26th in the NFL in passing scores.

Quarterback Chad Pennington has only eight passing TDs this season.

Pennington's game-management has been very good, his leadership is excellent, the guy is very valuable. But Miami simply needs more scoring passes from him.

But while Pennington would like to get more TD passes, he says there is a reason his number is modest.

“We’re running the ball really well in the red zone," Pennington said. "A lot of times, that’s where you can get some easier touchdowns so to speak, as in the red zone. But we’re running the ball so effectively; we just haven’t had to throw it as much. It’s one of those things as a quarterback: Would you like to have more touchdown passes? Absolutely, just to create more success for your offense.

"But, at the same time, I’m not going to sacrifice, trying to force something in there to try to drive stats up. That’s just not good football.”

True enough, the Dolphins have 14 rushing touchdowns this year and that is tied (with the New York Giants) for second most in the NFL. So there are potential TD pass opportunities that Pennington is passing up (pun intended) to get the team in the end zone via the ground.

But to believe the Dolphins don't need to improve their scoring through the air is not realistic.


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More points are needed. Run, pass, whatever. Need to focus all game and not just quarter #1 and #4.

Just win baby... Whatever it takes, passing, running, kicking.. Just win!!

Armando, if you take out the Arizona game... The scoring average jumps way up... Also, 2nd in the NFL is awesome... Where are the Giants ranked in passing TDS? I really think they get what is given, if a passing td is there, rarely does Chad miss an opportunity... Do they really need to improve their passing game?? I think they have almost maximized what they can do at this point... I don't know if this discussion is valid Armando...

Never heard so much crap Mando, what does it matter how they score just as long as they do. If we beat the Pats by 1 TD or 5 Td's and we run them all in, who cares honestly, the 72 Dolphins were a run first team they did pretty well not that I'm comparing these fins to those greats. Next year we will see the complete offense developing everything this year is a bonus considering last year. Go Fins !!!

Two things: Ian you are missing the point. The point is not that they score through the air instead of on the ground. The point is they score MORE through the air to ADD to what they're doing on the ground, thus MORE POINTS, which is a good thing and not CRAP.

On another matter, Rob Ninkovich has been waived and the Dolphins were awarded linebacker Erik Walden who was waived by KC this week. Walden is a special teams guy. He had 10 special teams tackles for the Chiefs, which was second on the team. He could play Sunday on coverage teams.

What Chad said is true they are running the ball well in the red zone but Chad is one of the best play action passers in the game and with running backs with good hands like Brown,Cobbs,and Ricky and not to mention a big tight end like Fasano who also has great hands we should take more chances passing the ball inside the 20.Also Ginn is starting to get comfortable Chad needs to hit Ginn on slant and post routes.I think Chad is still skeptic about taking down field chances because we know and he knows his arm is not strong and he is affraid of turnovers but this is a guy who at one point in time had a comp% of 80-90% of passes 40 or more yards.But yes lets get the te's more involved in the pass game and spread the rock around.

The issue to the lack of scoring resides with 3rd and long situations IMO...they still aren't converting enough of those to sustain drives.

I completely agree with Armando on this one. I understand what Chad is saying about the red zone but every TD pass shouldn't have to be from inside the 20 yard line. We need to make some big plays on offense through the air. Deep balls to Ginn and Bess from inbetween the 35 and 20 would be nice. I wish Chad had more confidence in his accuracy on these types of passes but it is what it is. If they could open up the passing game like that it would help our running game tremendously. They wouldn't have to rely on gimmicks to run the ball and the o-line would have less defenders to block. It really would open so much up for this offense if they could get some more passing tds.

I need to score more in the air. That' why I'm joining the mile high club. Yeah baby!!!!

The Dolphins have been very efficient in scoring offense. It matters not if it comes from the air or on the ground. Look at how many big plays the team has had. Cobbs has 80 and 53 yard TD receptions. Brown has a 62 yard run for a TD. Williams has a 50 yard run for a TD. Ginn has a 40 yard run and a 39 yard reception for a TD. This is all in addition to be very effecient in the red zone. So I would not get caught up in the actual number of TD passes but look at the number of TDs and where they have come from. I think the Dolphins are doing just fine in this regard.

Being ranked 2nd in red zone scoring is great but it shows that we need more big plays through the air....outside of the red zone.

More Turkey.

I personally dont give two squats how we score I would just like to see Chad take some downfield chances.

I wear a Raider's high school letterman jacket. I think that qualifies me as being pretty cool and speaks for itself. That said, I don't need you clowns or this blog.

I need to score more too. Thats why I's a member of the hairy club for men. Chicks dig me now.

Eat me.

First, interesting that the Dolphins added a bigger bodied special teams player. Good to see since the coaching staff was complaining that their unit wasn't big enough. Just a thought but can't one of their extra defensive ends play ST too? Like Merling for example? I noticed that Calais Campbell is around the ball a lot for Arizona's ST

Second, I don't care if the Dolphins score 120 points or 2 points, just as long as it is more than the opponents. The last two weeks, especially last week, the Dolphins got very conservative on offense knowing that the Raider offense couldn't score. They just basically dared the Raider offense to take the game away from their defense. Special teams almost made it a moot strategy, OOOPS!

I also rock the 1980's Jordache Raiders track suit. And I got my walker in matching silver and black!

Armando, I think the lack of passing touchdowns is a reflection of the lack of explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball. We don't have much of a quick strike ability. What we can do is controlled passing and run the ball. I would like to see the passing TD's go up, especially if it means the Dolphins are hitting on more big plays.

play calling has been way too conservative the last few games.

Yeah, the offense has been so conservative that the offense has scored on a flea flicker and a reverse.

Would we be better off with more TD passes and fewer wins?
I'm all for going deep and scoring. Just ask my girlfriend, I go deep at least 25 times a month.

It's been conservative when they had a lead in the last two games. Looked like they just didn't want to turn the ball over and put the game in the hands of the defense.

Master, how do you deal with the brush burns and swelling?

"The point is they score MORE through the air to ADD to what they're doing on the ground, thus MORE POINTS, which is a good thing and not CRAP."

Actually, you can only score once per drive, so this IS crap.

It's all apples and oranges at this point. Yes, I would like to see more points. However, I would rather see them continue the disciplined, "limit the mistakes" approach that has started to finally take shape after 4 years. We've all had enough of penalties and turnovers in the red zone over the past 4 years. Not to mention all the pick 6's. Special Teams is giving enough free points to the other team. We don't need to start making risky throws as well. Pound the ball!

My point exactly.

I wonder where Tenn ( 10-0 ) sit on this stat. I believe they score the majority of their TD's by running. It seems to be working for them.

"Actually, you can only score once per drive, so this IS crap."

But the Dolphins don't score on every drive and you not seeing that is the biggest crap of all.

I don't care how they score them but the Fish definitely need to get in the end zone more. Remember Denver....12 points...all FGs. Dolphins left lots of tds on the field (even though they won that game).

are we in first in the AFC east if we beat the patriots and the Jets lose to Tenn.?

If the Jets lose and Dolphins win both are 7-4. But the Jets beat the Dolphins the first game of the season so they hold the tie-breaker for the time being.

Absolutely could not be happier to have Chad P. guiding this team, but we need to be realistic -- you need that zip in the Red Zone.

"But the Dolphins don't score on every drive and you not seeing that is the biggest crap of all."

So instead of trying to get a first down on a 3rd and 8 from the 40, we should be throwing a hail mary into the end zone? Come on, Armando, it's not as black and white as you write it. First of all, out of our 14 rushing touchdowns this season, about 6 of them came from outside the red zone. had we not had those long rushing TDs, Pennington might've been in the position to throw it into the end zone and he might've had 12 or 13 TDs. The fact of the matter is you're supposed to run the ball in on goal to go situations. Throwing the ball second is a luxury you shouldn't be so eager to give up. If we can rush it in, we should. If you're upset because Pennington didn't score enough fantasy points for you this week, I understand, but to act like we should be gunslingers is ridiculous because it would A. eliminate our chances to control the clock and B. decrease our ability to play mistake free football. those two things are what have been keeping us in all these games.

The Dolphins need more TD passes in the red zone. There should be more 3 TE sets with play action to feed off of the production of the ground game. 1 more TD per game would be nice going in to the final stretch.

A little known stat, there is another team with only 9 passing TDs this season: the Tennessee Titans. Oh, and they've scored 16 rushing TDs to lead the NFL and we're second with 14 like the Giants. So if it works for a 10-0 and a 9-1 team, and we are 6 - 4 after being 1-15 last year, I think it's more apt to believe that what we are doing is working. We are 8th in yards per game, 9th in passing yards per game, and 10th in defense points allowed per game. And the cold weather is coming and teams will need to be able to run the football more and more. I don't know what else to say on the matter other than ask how many passing TDs Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Daunte Culpepper, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese and all the other rejects we've had to deal with threw for the Miami Dolphins.

we dont go after BIG TIME wr's, in the draft
or free agency.

ted ginn has been the ONLY excpetion in years.

not seeing chamber is to many pro bowls these days.

untill this team goes out and PAYS for a bonafide, play making wr, we wont put up many
points and we wont be seeing many play off games.

july 4, 1776 - november 4, 2008

He doesn't have enough zip on the ball to squeeze it into tight spots. When there is less field to cover and more bodies in a smaller area you need a stong arm with a quick release. Pennington has neither. He is all about timing patterns and back shoulder throws. He also doesn't have a reliable receiver with a height or athletic advantage over CB's to throw to. There is also little threat to run. He has done an admirable job but there is no escaping his shortcomings. This team has done an awesome job considering all of their issues: Left guard, no physical WR, QB with average arm, pathetic special teams coverage, CB's that struggle against physical WR's, an inconsistant running game. It also seems the more games they have won the more conservative the offense has been playing against inferior teams like Seattle & Oakland relying more on the defense. They're playing with house money. Be aggressive (Even though Chad has thrown 2 pick sixes). Remember the opening play bomb to Ginn against Buffalo? Why haven't we seen at least an attempt since (flea flicker doesn't count)? Time to kick it into high gear!!!!

My concern statistically is:

1. What are the percentages around scoring TD's and FG's when the offense is in the red zone?

2. How good is our field position on offense? (Unfortunately our opponents too many times have had favorable field position on offense because of bad special teams coverage.)

3. When we are in good field position (our 30 and beyond), what percent of the time are we moving the ball down the field to put up points? We putting up points at the beginning of the game with our opening drives but failing to build momentum from that. That's why we've had to pull off some needed drives in the 4th quarter to preserve victories or come from behind when we had to after getting complacent.

4. I really don't care if our offense scores more TD's via our running game (Wildcat or conventional sets) or from TD passes. During our championship years, our offense was known for running the ball and beating the stuffing out of the other team despite having Paul Warfield instilling fear in a defense when he catches a TD pass (has highest ratio of TD passes caught to total passes caught over a 10+ year career). The truth is that we're not scoring as many TD's via passes vs the run because the team doesn't have the receivers that instill that same fear in opposing defenses. Camarillo and the TE's are solid players. Ginn may develop into a fine WR. But they don't come close to a Warfield who can instill fear, command respect, and strike anytime he was called to.

Turd Ferguson, you are a moron. In one sentence you say Chad doesn't have a strong arm and then you mention the "bomb" that he threw to Ginn. That was a long throw and for all of you that think he can't do it, he's proven he can. It's time to stop saying Chad can't throw long...he and the wideouts just need to get on the same page.

Turd Ferguson, you are a moron. In one sentence you say Chad doesn't have a strong arm and then you mention the "bomb" that he threw to Ginn. That was a long throw and for all of you that think he can't do it, he's proven he can. It's time to stop saying Chad can't throw long...he and the wideouts just need to get on the same page.

Omg some of ya are sooo stupid and critical of armando... What the hell is wrong with saying we need more touchdown passes... We probably do to score more points we average 20 points a game and sometimes that is not going to be enough to beat some of the great teams. Now are we better than last year... Hell yeahh.. F last year,, we arent in rebuilding mode anymore its getting better to make the playoffs and compete against the great teams

nomuzlimprez you are one dumb hick. UNTITES>>???? what is that? bet you were home schooled you inbred loser

I've been wondering about something from last weeks Dolphin Raider game. After the Cobb TD, why didn't the dolphins opt to go for 2 points conversion? The decision to kick for the 1 point left them venerable if the raiders scored a TD which happened. The raider TD on the kickoff return tied the game at 14 & the extra point put them ahead of the dolphins by 1pt. Had the dolphins gone for 2 points and scored they would have been at 16pts thus forcing the raiders to go for their own 2pt conversion, which missed, would have force them to have to score again. Had the dolphins failed on the 2pt on the cobb TD, the worse would have been a 15 to 13 lead for the Raiders. The eventual game winning field goal would have still delivered the win. Dolphins made this a little tougher on themselves then it needed to be.


Bottom line is CP cant consistantly stretch the field with his arm. Thats why on 3rd and longs we get short pass attempts or runs. You are right we need to get more points through the air but to do that you need plays called that allow for options deep down the field. Anyway Ill take their approach because they are still new to this system and a little raw. Better to see them play close to the vest that be reckless with the ball. Also one last note, Henning has done a great job. But wasnt he run out of Carolina for be to conservative. Just hope when Henne eventually gets his chance dump off Dan lets him air it a little.

Ultimately it comes down to the offense needing to be more productive.

The other angle about the need for a more developed offense is that it will stretch the defense and open up further holes for the running game. One compliments the other.

Statistically and Historically speaking, yeah 9TD's is low for this stage in the season. But.. it all goes back to Sparano's goal of winning time of possession (TOP) more than the opponent.

We have won TOP in 6 games - those 6 we have won. We have lost TOP of posession in 4 games and those 4 we have lost. Most TOP wins are done by running the ball.

The other angle is the mental one. When inside the red zone, if we are able to punch it in versus going over the top with the pass this instills both confidence and the attitude that is required for when you "need" to run the ball in the tough positions on the field

Lets not forget, the offense is still developing. It will come, right now, a win is a win and ill take it anyway it comes.


Pennington is smart, 90% of time does the right decision but his noodle arm is for real and when you have only 20-10-5 yards ahead you must throw with a bit more power.................. maybe we should use Henne for red-zone offense.

hey mando running the ball takes up more time imo so that means clock manangement aka game management. MOre W's if im not mistaken. Although i would like to see pennington have 30 tds but what good is 30 tds with like 20 or 25 ints. Or whatever imo sorry about the grammer go phins.

ohh yeah does a rushing td and a passing td equal = 7 points... just wondering.

Not gonna happen.....u need zip on the ball to get those TD passes and Penny just doesn't have it.

We lack in TD passes for the same reason we're so horrible at 3rd and long. Penny's noodle of an arm

Bring on the Henne era asap

Our offense has not lost a single game this year (Defense lost AZ, Special Teams - TX and two where team loses)- yet they have won several. If you open up the attack in an attempt to score more points, you increase the risk of turnovers that lead to loses. Tony has the right mix for his team. You don't have to be number one in the league in scoring to win rings. You have to win the right games (see NE last year - they didn't win all the right games)

Teams that are generally more successful over the long run are those that find the delicate balance between a good offense which can control the clock late in the game (Dolphins have held for 10 min or greater in last 4 games); a good defense that can make the big plays when needed (Dolphins plus 8 in turnovers) and stellar special teams (the Dolphin's glaring weak point).

Phins 24 - NE 20

is that u nyscott
if it is change ur name to miamiscott so ur name comes out

I think Armando is about to snap

There is no doubt the Dolphins need more from the passing game, but I'm not sure Pennington's the guy who can give that to the Dolphins. The best we can hope for is no interceptions from him. The one he threw in Seattle almost cost the Dolphins the game.

Since we know his weaknesses, the Dolphins must utilize his strengths. This is where the coaching has been solid. Hopefully, they can improve those strengths and hopefully we see them flex their muscles this week.

Chad Pennington is the problem, and what's holding this team back.. His weak arm, and constant staring the WR's down on those horrid too short for the first down plays are getting painful too watch!!

This team was just supposed to be " competitive" this year! and that's all we will do. But next year?? With Henne throwing??
We'll see a much better, and legit air attack!
with that air attack as a threat FINALLY?
the RB's will be more impressive as well..

This guy is right on.. and to blame the running plays? lol Chad they do that because they know when they rely on you throwing it? We end up going for the field goal. Hence Chad Penningtons success has been mostly on trick plays.. No more lobbed throws, and the WR's can actually get the ball to them in a hurry, and not stop and wait for them!

holding the team back hmmmm.. how many wins would of henne have for this same team right now..

More wins... Especially the ones we let back in because we couldn't drive the ball!!!!
but yea Rookies can't win, because of their experience, and all.. I know Atlanta and Baltimore or thinking they should have played a vet with a weak arm. possibly one another team through out because they knew their QB was limited to passing the ball!!

Just throwing this out there, who else would like to see the Fins run the "wishbone" with Ronnie, Ricky and Patrick (cobbs) in the backfield at the same time? Just a passing thought... Sparano, you reading these posts?

they have awsome defenses man miami's is good but u have ur opinion i have mine .

did trent dilfer have a weak arm just wondering..

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