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How other teams scored from red zone 41 times Sunday

The Dolphins had three red zone trips on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. They scored one touchdown and settled for two field goals.

So drives that could have been maximized for three touchdowns, 21 points, resulted in only 13 points.

That is a big deal when one considers this game was decided by one point.

So, again, why are the Dolphins not maximizing? Why are they not cashing in?

I've stopped looking to the Dolphins for answers.

I'm looking elsewhere -- like the rest of the NFL. And in the NFL on Sunday the rest of the league scored 41 red zone touchdowns.

Of those 41 touchdowns, 13 were scored when quarterbacks hooked up with wide receivers for the six-pointers. Quarterbacks found their tight ends for 11 of those 41 red zone touchdowns. And quarterbacks connected with running back for three red zone passing touchdowns.

All told, of the 41 red zone touchdowns scored by teams not named the Miami Dolphins or Cleveland Browns, 27 came via the pass. So teams that got into the end zone once they reached the red zone did it by passing 65 percent of the time.

The running scores?

Running backs scored on runs nine times. Quarterbacks had touchdown runs five times.

So what does all this mean?

It's quite clear, really.

The most important player in the red zone is the quarterback. On Sunday, the quarterback threw a touchdown or scored himself 32 of the 41 red zone successes teams had. The wide receiver is obviously the next most productive player for teams in the red zone and the tight end is not very far behind him.

But here's the problem: The players manning those positions for the Dolphins are not delivering in the red zone.

Yesterday, for example, quarterback Chad Henne completed 65.5 percent of his passes for the game. But inside the red zone he completed only 2 of 5 passes for a 40 percent completion rate. He also broke a team red zone rule by taking a sack. (Obviously, that may or may not have been something he could have avoided.)

Brandon Marshall had four catches for 43 yards yesterday, which by the way is not very good at all. Anyway, Marshall was worse in the red zone. He was unable to beat one-on-one coverage from Joe Haden and his lone red zone pass went incomplete.

That pass, by the way, was catchable. Yes, it would have been an outstanding catch, but those are the kind of catches big-time receivers are supposed to deliver. Marshall did not. And don't take my word for it. The pictures, sent in by this blog's rising screen grab specialist Justin Reardon, show the play in all its inglorious outcome:

Marshall redzone1 
Above Marshall has practically no separation, but the ball is headed right to his hands. It's a good throw.

Marshall redzone2 
Now the ball is in Marshall's hands. Joe Haden is still trying to bat it in the air, but it's too late. The DBs only hope now is batting it from Marshall's grasp or having Marshall drop it.

Marshall redzone3 
Well, Haden can stop hoping to bat it from Marshall's grasp because it's in the guy's hands. Now he has to hope Marshall simply drops the ball.

Marshall redzone4 
And that is exactly what happens. As Haden whiffs, Marshall has let the ball go through his hands. Incomplete. No touchdown.

Davone Bess was targetted once in the red zone. He wasn't really open. Anthony Fasano was targetted once in the red zone. Nothing.

Fasano is of particular interest to me. The tight end, you see, is supposed to make his money in the red zone. He needs to be a presence there and that point is made in the stats I related above. Tight ends are supposed to be major red zone weapons.

Fasano is not. Hmmm, this is more evidence the Dolphins need that upgrade at tight end the team still refuses to do.

Finally, I'd say the Dolphins might think of using their RBs more as weapons in the red zone. Their red zone success Sunday came on a screen pass to Daniel Thomas that turned into a 10-yard score. Thomas also carried three times in the red zone for 8 yards. The running plays yielded modest return, but what about using the RBs as receiving weapons?

Isn't Reggie Bush supposed to be this big mismatch with linebackers whenever he's on the field? Why not use him?

Obviously, I'm not a coach and do not pretend to be one. But I have eyes. And what Miami has been doing so far doesn't equal necessarily what the rest of the league is doing.

The positions that are producing the big red zone success elsewhere aren't doing that in Miami. That's a problem.

On many levels.


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What if Wes Welker were still a Dolphin? What if?

is it wrong that i wish the lockout continued and the dolphins never had the 2011 season....just saying

is it me is Tony Sparano still way too excited when his team kicks a field goal, he really is over the top, really annoying to watch

Yes henne continues to suc and blow in the red zone. 34th out of 37 4th quarter QB rating, remember the 6 yarder to WIDE OPEN FASANO last year against the ravens, totally collapsed moral.OH yea Marshal dropping 110 mph fastballs for 10 yards is a problem, we should CATCH those.

Even if they score the defense will just EF it up. Time for a complete overhaul of attitude. The way this team gave up that last drive "again" to a kid like he was Joe Montana is disgraceful!

Pissed but still shelled out duckets for San Diego.

mando you forgot Bush fumble which was on the 19 yard line. So that makes 4 redzone trips.

Also I think with henne unless the guy is wide open he's not trying to fit it in. He's scared of thrwoing INTs and I'm sure sparano's conservative attitude has something to do with that.

again that's wrong if you watch it it real time the ball was tipped by haden. he doesn't wiff.

It is All disgacefull, I can not remember this Franchise ever being so dysfunctional. Some how the 1-15 did not seem as bad?

The colts are tanking season for Luck.

Not only that but if you saw Belichick, A Football Life, you saw him brilliantly dissecting and scouting the Jets tendencies before their game in a coaches meeting- the seam routes in the middle of the field; Sanchez under center in red zone means he's going to Keller, etc. Sure enough they hit the seam routes and went to Keller for a TD.

In other words, good coaches know what your tendencies are and what you are going to do before you do it. Everyone knows that when Miami gets in red zone, they look to hit Marshall and defensive coaches surely know this and gear up to take that away from them.

Why make it hard on yourself and try to complete a play which a defense is geared up to take away? How about a little more creativity in the play calling and not being so predictable with Marshall in the red zone on passing plays? Is that too much to ask from an NFL offense?

does anyone think that this franchise with the worst owner in football will win a super bowl in our lifetime, i know i dont..what a waste of my time and energy

Colts almost beat Pitt so I dunno about that.

I have been thinking and there is always comparisons between Sanchez and Henne who have somewhat similar numbers overall.

Sanchez has not been in the league as long.

The main contrast to these two players is that Henne seems to be able to bring it from the 20 to the 20 yard line. Henne makes yardage and keeps you in games and flashes potential to keep some enamored.

The number one difference is that Sanchez can suck for 3 quarters but when the game is on the line and you need a throw, he has pretty good accuracy and field presence. Henne starts puckering up when the game gets intense late. Throws a ton of uncatchable balls in the red zone.

The fact of life that many posters on here fail to see is that the Coach AND/OR the QB will get too much credit when they win and too much credit when they lose. So far, the Coach/QB are only losing, so they get most of the blame.


i thought the new offense was supposed to be more creative, what a joke, they cannot even figure out how to use bush, im tired of this franchise constantly doing things wrong, when was the last time the dolphins were relevant



What year and who was the GM and HC that decided to change the Dolphin logo to look more aggressive or angry?

If you get that right, I ask this question...

Ever since the Logo change did you also notice that the record went downhill???

Just sayin.

Peyton out for year; Colts looking at top pick ... No official annoncement has been made yet, but Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay indicated this morning that star QB Peyton Manning will miss the entire season. Manning has been sidelined with a neck problem. The Colts did give it the old college try last evening before losing 23-20 at the buzzer to Pittsburgh, but Indianapolis is now 0-3 and looking at the prospect at having an early pick at the 2012 draft for the first time in a long time. And with Manning on the wrong side of 35 and no heir apparent in Indianapolis, the Colts likely will be in the market for a young passer such as juniors Andrew Luck of Stanford, Matt Brakley of USC or Landry Jones of Oklahoma at the upcoming draft. To have a shot at Luck, though, the Colts will likely have to end up with the #1 pick overall and they've got some competition on their hands as Miami, Minnesota, Kansas City and St. Louis are also still winless, although both the Rams and Vikings have already drafted their QBs of the future in recent years. On the other hand, several teams that had top 10 picks last year appear to have already played themselves out of contention for the #1 pick this year including Buffalo, which picked third last April, but is 3-0 after yesterday's shocking comeback win over New England, while Cleveland, San Francisco and Tennessee, which picked 6th through 8th respectively last spring, are each 2-1.

Luck is gonna be a Dolphins, chiefs or colt.
You know what would be the ultimate insult? The colts get LUCK!!!
We have to tank the season, and I think Ross made that choice last year.

So what did TS say in the presser that will be looked at prior to tahing on a much better team in San Diego ?
Hard to believe that you start 0-3 and nothing is changing.


I say next year with Luck, we go back to the 70s uniform.

Jimmy Johnson was the coach that changed the logo. That didn't annoy me nearly as much as this "fins up!" garbage, though.

again that's wrong if you watch it it real time the ball was tipped by haden. he doesn't wiff.

Posted by: dolphin 77 | September 26, 2011 at 07:02 PM

77...You are correct...in real time you can clearly see that ball was tipped....

but to be honest...I felt like Marshall has to do a better job boxung the DB out.....stick his but out...or come back into the ball....I expect Marshall to make that play.....and I think Sporano, Daboll...and Henne do too....

Why would Ross fire TS when he's on the hook for his salary through 2013? If it's all about the money as Armando's article insinuates Ross will keep TS through the season. Unless he thinks a coaching change will put enough butts in the seats to make up the difference he would have to pay the guy he promoted.

My guess is after that black eye Ross took in the Harbaugh fiasco he wants to improve his rep as an owner and I think keeping TS might do that. At least within the league, not with the fans. But I doubt Ross really gives a crap about the fans.

sparano is a very prideful man, and that is his problem. he cannot admit he is wrong (see quotes from the press conference)...on a game-plan, on a personnel decision, on a play-call, etc.
and what happened to that spread set the dolphins used against the patriots? it's almost like sparano saw that daniel thomas was decent and said, ok, i can revert back to this conservative, three yards and a cloud of dust, control the clock, and try to win with field goals mentality. and are these coaches too stupid to figure out how to properly use reggie bush? i just can't believe what i have been watching. at the end of the day, however, henne needs to go. but we knew that last year, right?

Can someone tell what the weather is like today.
There are no windows here in the NFL cellar.

San Diego has opened as a 9 point favorite for Sunday.

Sunday November 6th 1:00pm
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, MO
Chiefs v. Dolphins
Loser Gets Salvation

I wonder if Detroit can get to the Superbowl.
Maybe they beat Bufflalo 52-48.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders is getting Bush was a Ross idea more so than a Sparano idea. Consider that the only real money put out in free agency was for a guy who is a big "name" but doesn't fit Sparano's philosophy, as aptly pointed out by Austin above.

At this point the best outcome for Ross, and perhaps the franchise, would be tanking the season and grabbing that #1 pick. Another 7-9 season sells exactly zero tickets for 2012. I think we should pay close attention to Ross from this point forward and see if his actions aren't geared toward putting up as many L's as possible while spinning it just the opposite. With both KC and Indy hanging tough with SD and Pitt that #1 pick is not looking as ridiculous as it did a few days ago.

You know I held a grudge against Wes Welker for years because I tought he was a Patriots guy all along and just buying his time. I was even glad when he got hurt a few years ago.

I have changed my view on Welker starting this year. Im happy for him that he does not have to endure this circus in Miami. He was right to get the hell out of Miami. Good for you wes!!! I wish you continued success!!!

Well how many more records can we set this year.

N.E. put up more yardage against us in franchise history.

0-6 versus Houston.

1-9 at in the last 10 (I think).

How about 0-16?

Armando is spot on about everything....

And we should wear the 70's unis at least once a year. They're better than the Orange ones, too.

Marshall should know better. You have to sieze the ball, not just wait for it to get there with a DB on his tail. Grab it, reach for it, clutch it, block a guy out, but GET THE DAMN BALL!

Marshall may be a beast, but he is not a $50 million star receiver worth two 2nd round picks. He lacks focus, doesn't have soft hands, seems preoccupied with demons.

Didn`t The Dolphins Hire an "O" Coach who had a worse "O" then the one they had last yr and then expect things to get better?????

Said it for a while now....this bunch just doesn't get it about the 'new' tight ends. Still stuck in the old 60s slow, mostly blocking,tight end and heaven forbid, two tight end sets

Marshall is the least of our concerns. Quarterback cant make plays in the 4th quarter of a close game.
OC doesnt know how to use Bush. Havent seen one screen pass called yet.
DB's cant cover!
Safetey's and LB's still cant cover TE's!
Kicker cant kick field goal
Long is giving up sacks, everybody elses play seems to be rubbing off on the poor guy.
Cant generate pressure on opposing QB's
And our head coach is far too excited over field goals. His expectations must be through the roof!

We need alot of Luck!

Come on guys, support your team. Come out on Sunday and buy those $9 beers, $25 parking spots and $6 hot dogs. What's not to like?


We got the Vikes, Chiefs, Colts and Rams nipping at our heels.

May need 0-16 for Luck.

I urge all fans to boycott the stadium. Send a message that we want quality and will not support an embarrassment.

ANDREW LUCK Sweepstakes, standings after week3:
I'll update this every week (unless it no longer becomes necessary).

K.C. = picks Luck if #1
Indy = Maybe picks Luck, maybe trade down. Complicated.
Minn. = Trade down if #1. They traded up last year for Ponder. They will want value.
St. Louis = Trade down if #1. Happy with Bradford, get value. (but they won't be #1).
Miami = pick Luck if #1. Hoping Barkley, Jones if not. Right now good chance for one of those 3.

There are other bad teams, but they have a win to their name right now.

I urge all fans to boycott the stadium. Send a message that we want quality and will not support an embarrassment.

Posted by: Clark | September 26, 2011 at 08:24 PM

No. This is time to rally around the team.....and bring your wallet while your at it, thanks.

Hell, Mr. Luck may not want to come work for the lost boss Mr. Ross (a la Eli Manning and the Chargers).

0.02, Who could turn down a job working for a team with such an aggressive angry logo like ours? Doesn't it have cool pruply-blue? Hellloooo! Angry color. What more could you want?

Do what is needed to get luck, Mr. Rosss.

clark, i completely agree, stop going to the games, it is the only way to make a statement that we as fans are sick of the crap being put in front of us, stop going period

Make it look like a Marlin game

It's almost at a point where I feel sort of bad for Sparano. I keep reading articles claiming that Miami has all this "talent" but frankly I don't see it. I do see a diva WR with lousy hands, a diva RB who has done absolutely nothing through three games, a mediocre QB who's apparently still "developing", no TE's to speak of and a pretty bad OL that sucks at both the pass & the run. On the other side I see no pass rush, invisible FA linebackers and a secondary that terrifies all who gaze upon it. And it's peppered with old Cowboy rejects, too.

Not that I'm defending Sparano: he's not a good game day coach and he seems like he's in way over his head, especially considering he's in his 4th season. But ownership and management has given him little to work with, not to mention that they basically kneecapped him during the off-season and placed him in a very humiliating position he's handled as gracefully as anyone could expect. But yeah, that FG act of his is horrible to watch.

Terrible drafting, bad FA signings & stupid trades, the inability to keep pace with division & conference rivals both strategically and personnel-wise and a "football czar" that skipped town with the job half-finished. And here we are, already discussing the NEXT regime, having already gone through the SB Champion, his best pal, the college whiz-kid, the genius offensive guru assistant coach and the guy Parcells liked in the last 12 years. What next?


Soprano and Son and GM Ireland were rewarded a two year contract for back to back losing seasons.

With THAT in mind, IF, and it's a BIG IF... They survive the season without being fired (BOTH OF THEM), and IF the fins happen to get the #1 pick.. and IF Andrew Luck is unhurt and available...


You need to go back to the Tuna philosophy of trading away the #1 pick for more VALUE picks and search out for ACORNS.

Ireland wont pick Luck and THAT will be his going away, or payback to the Fins owner Ross. Soprano will also be into payback time.

Listen, these two POS when fired will end up somewhere and they sure don't want the Fins to snatch up Andrew Luck, especially if they end up in the same div (God who would hire them?)

I recall when many of the fin fans were drooling over Tebow, literally drooling. Back when we could have move up I wanted to pick Joe Flacco as he has a cannon for an arm.

Just say-in.

Luck is next!!!

ALSO, don't forget that the GM and Soprano LOVE Henne and if Henne has a good year despite a losing season, Ireland and Soprano will keep Henne and trade away Luck.

Props to Justin Reardon! Love it!

sucka, don't you know bobby told everyone on this blog that Sparano & Ireland deserved those extensions they got? YEA! He said it was because Ross realized the team was on the right track. LOL

No wonder why he still goes to the games, he doesn't even know what he's watching.

FYI, to you Bobby, from the other blog...I could care less if you like what I say about "your" team. You were ranting about someone else to. That's all yenta's do...WAHHHHHHHHHHHH

The fact is this team, coach & FO sucked then & you were flailing your pom poms in support like a blind ignorant fool. Should people care what you think? Sun stroked & delusional? LMAO

By all means though, keep being a sucker & going to every game & giving Ross your money to watch this joke of a team "perform" on Sundays.

You're more gullable than any Jets fan I know to think these guys deserved an extension & dumber than a 2x4 to boot. Now wonder you don't live here or moved away. You couldn't last 2 seconds with your attitude & lack of any discernable intelligence. Go change your tampon! BUH BYE SALLY!

I can sum up Tony Sparano in one word:


Trade away Luck and get a big beefy guy for the right side of the oline. By the time the tools running this show figure this out, Jake Long will be retired after 18 seasons.

Like i said Marshall is a team cancer...every team he's been on he has put great numbers but the team doesn't win..the WR'S stop running in the endzone ...no head fakes no stutter steps..no helping a teammate to get open ..no depth on routes..you don't see someone running across the endzone from one end to another..all they do is look 4 Marshall who can't seperate and time his jump good...or throw to the corner of the endzone.

Regardless of who's running things next April, Ross needs to put a gun to their heads and say "you ARE drafting a QB in the first round this time". They botch that again and that stadium will be a tomb in Sept 2012.

LLOOLL... Go back to Sept 21 blog >Brian Daboll on red zone, JT on kicking @ss <

Click on the Daboll video clip and take note of Dabell's hand jestures which include

Snapping his fingers and Clap, Clap his hands.

I posted that the FIST PUMP was in danger and the replacement was the Clap, Clap or Snap, Snap.

NOW... Take a look at what the Photo shows in TODAY's Dolphin page in the harold.


tj, I don't care if they wear pink

Tj, as long as they win!

Jason said:

"is it me is Tony Sparano still way too excited when his team kicks a field goal, he really is over the top, really annoying to watch"

Does this link to a photo taken yesterday answer your question, Jason?


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