DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins' offense has stalled, and the long list of reasons includes too many turnovers, not enough big plays and too many rookie moments by quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
So what bugs offensive coordinator Mike Sherman the most? None of the above.
"Aw, just the run game," Sherman said Monday. "Everything jells around the run game. If you can run the ball, you can throw the ball. It just makes life a lot easier."
The Dolphins haven't rushed for 100 yards since September, which helps explain why the offense has scored one touchdown in the past 10 quarters. As a result, Miami (4-6) takes a three-game losing streak into Sunday's game against Seattle (6-4).
"The running game hasn't been effective lately," guard Richie Incognito said. "That puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the offense. We know we have to get the running game going and execute better. It comes down to guys winning one-on-one blocks."
It also comes down to Sherman jump-starting an offense that showed promising signs before the recent lull. He's among the newcomers to Miami under first-year head coach Joe Philbin, and the recent lack of productivity has made Sherman's game plans and play calling targets for criticism.
Philbin defended Sherman's scheme and said the problem has been execution.
"Collectively we have a good bit of experience in the league as a staff," Philbin said. "I think we know things that can work in this league, and things that aren't real sound and don't work."
Miami's lack of a deep threat at receiver has allowed opposing defenses to gear for the run, but Sherman said predictability hasn't been a problem. The offense varied its personnel packages in the past two games and lost both — against Tennessee and Buffalo, two of the league's worst defenses.