Offensive Line Woes
T Jake Long
T Jake Long

Posted Dec 12, 2011


The Dolphins' offensive line has been a disappointment most of 2011. Without franchise left tackle Jake Long, who missed three quarters of Sunday's 26-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the unit turned into a disaster.

The line allowed nine sacks against the Eagles, which ties a franchise record. They gave up the season's second safety on one of those sacks.

Miami also failed on two fourth-and-short conversions. And worst of all, two quarterbacks got injured on the offensive line's watch.

Matt Moore suffered a head injury when Eagles linebacker Brian Rolle applied a crack-back hit that made Moore's head ricochet off John Jerry's body.

J.P. Losman replaced Moore and was sacked five times. On the last one, he suffered an undisclosed injury. Moore's status is uncertain, but Losman appears healthy enough to start next Sunday's game against his former team, the Buffalo Bills.

Fortunately for the Dolphins, the Bills are last in the league with 17 sacks this season. But if the Dolphins are forced to play without Long, a three-time Pro Bowler, his absence will likely apply pressure to every spot on the offensive line.

"We gave up way too many quarterback pressures. Way too many quarterback hits. Way too many sacks," said left guard Richie Incognito. "All the blame is squarely on our shoulders. We got Matt (Moore) hurt, and J.P. (Losman) went down. It's squarely on our shoulders."

The Dolphins have allowed 42 sacks in 13 games. That's four sacks more than the Dolphins allowed all of last season, and with 11 more sacks the Dolphins would tie the 1969 Dolphins for the most sacks allowed in a single-season (53).

"We have to play better," said rookie center Mike Pouncey, who acknowledged it was a challenge to pick up Philadelphia's blitzes. "We let the team down. ... Just a bad day at the office."

In the earlier meeting between these two AFC East teams, which was a 35-8 Dolphins win on Nov. 20, the Bills tallied one sack. But it's likely that Buffalo's defensive coordinator George Edwards, who spent two seasons with Tony Sparano's Dolphins as a linebackers coach, will use some of Philadelphia's blitzes as a blueprint on how to attack whoever starts at quarterback for Miami.


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