DAVIE — Nothing comes easily these days for the Miami Dolphins. The lone touchdown scored by their offense in the past two and a half games was awarded only after a replay review.
The unit led by rookie Ryan Tannehill has stalled during a three-game losing streak and so has the franchise's turnaround under first-year coach Joe Philbin.
“Obviously we need to make some improvements quickly,” Philbin said Friday, barely 12 hours after a 19-14 loss at Buffalo. The defeat dropped his team to 4-6 and quashed playoff talk, at least for now.
The only touchdown by the offense came with nine minutes left on a 2-yard pass from Tannehill to Davone Bess that was initially ruled incomplete. The reversal ended a streak of 27 consecutive offensive possessions without a TD.
Miami totaled a season-low 184 yards one week after managing 255 yards and three points against Tennessee.
The recent lack of productivity is especially disturbing because the Titans and Bills have given up the most points in the NFL.
“The past two games, we haven't been good at all,” running back Reggie Bush said. “We really haven't done much.”
Bush totaled 41 yards rushing over the past two games and the Dolphins have slipped to fourth-worst in the league in rushing yards per carry at 3.6.
Their team quarterback rating of 72.3 is also fourth-worst.
That's the wrong kind of offensive balance. Against Buffalo, Miami averaged a meager 4.0 yards per pass play and 3.3 per carry.
Tannehill showed steady improvement early in the season but regressed recently, throwing five interceptions in a five-day span. All 11 of his interceptions this year have come in defeats.
The rookie said the offense's recent woes are frustrating but educational.
“I feel like I'm getting better. I feel like I'm learning a lot,” Tannehill said. “Obviously you can't turn the ball over and that's a big problem right now. I realize that throwing five picks in the last two games is a big problem and one that needs to be addressed.”
Philbin said Tannehill's decision-making of late has been good aside from “a couple of lapses” and the coach stressed that his quarterback is far from being the lone culprit in the scoring slump.
“We haven't made enough plays around him and he hasn't made enough plays,” Philbin said.