What's the Ceiling for the Dolphins Offensive Line?
The Miami Dolphins are off to a disappointing 0-2 start in the 2020 season, but there have been some encouraging signs regardless.
And none has been more significance than the performance of the offensive line.
The numbers for the Dolphins offense certainly weren't overwhelming in the first two weeks of the season, but everything has to be evaluated with the understanding this group has four new starters, two of whom are rookies.
Under normal circumstances, that's a tough assignment at the start of a season, but it was especially trying in 2020 given the lack of offseason practices or preseason games because of COVID-19.
So look past the fact that the Dolphins rank in the bottom third of the NFL in most offensive statistical categories and have scored 39 points in two games and what you get is a big reason for optimism.
The offensive line was flagged for only two penalties in the first two games — holding calls against Ereck Flowers in the opener and against Solomon Kindley in Week 2 (though that one was declined).
The one statistical area where the Dolphins have done the best in terms of league rankings is sacks allowed per pass attempt, where they're 15th.
The Dolphins have allowed three sacks in two games and are averaging 3.8 yards per rushing attempt. While those numbers aren't great, compare them to what they were last year (10 sacks allowed, 2.3 rushing average) and there's a massive improvement.
And, again, this has been done while a new group is just starting to work together in game action, suggesting it's only going to get better from here.
First-round pick Austin Jackson looks like the real deal at left tackle, and Kindley has been a pleasant surprise at right guard. Those two will be part of the nucleus for hopefully a long time.
So, no, the Dolphins offensive line isn't great yet. But it's tons better than it was last year and it's most definitely trending in the right direction.
Right tackle Jesse Davis mentioned the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles of recent years when he talked about the kind of line he hopes the Dolphins can have.
“I think the identity of us is we want to be respected, we want to be feared. When we go into a game, we want to be able to do our job and do it well. Moving forward, I think we are starting to build that chemistry, I think we are starting to jell well nicely together. I think every week, just keep putting it on tape and doing what we’ve been doing.”