On Saturday night, the Dolphins’ offense hit the ground running with a full head of steam. After a big run by Lamar Miller and a couple of Ryan Tannehill pass completions to Brandon Gibson and Mike Wallace, Miami was knocking on Tampa Bay’s doorstep.
However, after a productive and lengthy drive, the Dolphins’ offense quickly sputtered at the 4-yard line. Miami would settle for a short field goal from Caleb Sturgis.
“We moved the ball well, but we didn’t finish once we got in the redzone,” Tannehill said after the game. “A big area of focus for us is scoring touchdowns when you’re down in the redzone, especially down inside the 10, down inside the five. You get that close, you move the ball all the way down the field, you really want to score touchdowns.”
Despite moving the ball well between the 20′s and out-gaining the Buccaneers in total yardage 312-160, the Dolphins’ offense won’t be satisfied until they clean up their work inside the 20.
“We did a lot of hard work to get down there, and then we didn’t capitalize and finish it,” Wallace said. “We just have to finish those drives and I think we’ll be fine.”
Creating plays gets more difficult for everyone in the redzone, as the room to work with is noticeably smaller and allows the defense to cover the remaining ground with more ease. Wallace, though, insisted this was no excuse for Miami’s stalled drives on Saturday night.
“You just got to make plays,” he said. “You got to have heart. That comes down to heart and wanting to make plays.
“And just be you. When you get to the redzone, some people panic and try to do too much. Just continue to play the same way you did the whole drive and you’ll be fine.”
Brandon Gibson, who’s still transitioning to his role in the slot, spoke about his difficulties in the redzone. Gibson dropped a touchdown pass from Tannehill, but ended up redeeming himself with a catch for six on the following drive.
“That’s one thing I have to work through—working through all the trash and finding my way and getting my eyes back to the quarterback once I clear all the trash,” Gibson commented. “But it’s a sample tonight, I got to make sure I get my eyes back inside, but I got to be able to make that play.”
Perhaps it was Wallace who summed it up best after the game, commenting on the high standard the receiving corps holds itself to.
“We just got to make every catch that comes our way,” Wallace said. “That’s the way we feel. We’re hard on ourselves and we got to make the plays no matter what happens.”
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