MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins pass blocking has been the focus of much consternation all season long. Monday night's game won't do anything to quell much of that talk.
"I just don't feel that team was as good as everybody was saying they were," Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette said. "We just abused the offensive line all game."
Galette had one of the Saints' four sacks on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill Monday night. Tannehill has been sacked 18 times thus far in 2013, the most of any quarterback in the National Football League.
While part of the blame is definitely on Tannehill for poor pocket awareness, the rest of his pass blocking from his offensive line, tight ends, and running backs is not doing him any favors when it comes to giving him time to throw the football.
The offensive line has long been the biggest focus of worry for Dolphins fans. The team decided against trading for Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert because of the cost associated with the trade in contract and draft picks.
The Dolphins also declined to increase their offer to last year's left tackle Jake Long and he left for St. Louis. Finally, the Fins decided against selecting one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL Draft, opting to add speed and depth to the defensive line.
Last year, Tannehill was sacked a total of 35 times over 16 games, or just over twice a game. In 2013, Tannehill is on pace to be sacked a total of 72 times.
"It's a big concern," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. "That's four-and-a-half a game. That is too many."
Perhaps most disconcerting for Dolphins fans was that Tannehill was only blitzed on 3 of his 41 drop backs in the game. Interestingly enough, he completed passes on all three of the blitzes.
While the pass blocking struggled, the run blocking improved some in the game. The Dolphins managed to run the ball for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Running back Lamar Miller led the way for Miami with 11 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.
But, as good as Miller was, the Dolphins have little to no depth behind him. Backup running back Daniel Thomas was completely ineffective running 4 times for a total of 5 yards and four of those yards came on one run.
The best running option outside of Miller was Tannehill who showed off his wheels in the game running 4 times for 48 yards with a long run of 26 yards.
While the running game improved, the problem of keeping Tannehill healthy and upright will continue to dog the Dolphins until either the pass blocking improves or Tannehill is spending most of his time with the trainer.
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