The high-flying offence of the Miami Dolphins has been a hot topic on conversation since they put up 70 points in a dominant victory over the Denver Broncos this past weekend.
Head coach Mike McDaniel, who worked under Kyle Shanahan with the San Francisco 49ers prior to being hired by the Dolphins last year, is using pre-snap motion as a way to help his receivers accelerate into their routes. The technique has led some of the NFL’s biggest names to compare Miami’s offence to those found in the CFL, which utilize the waggle.
“Miami’s a great example of tailoring your specific offence to exactly what you have personnel-wise. You have two of the fastest receivers in the entire league, Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, and what they’ve been doing to turn it into as close as you can to the Canadian Football League where you have guys who are getting running starts before the play,” Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show.
“Last year, a lot of it was side-to-side. They’d start Tyreek on the left, fly him over to the right and then get him going. Now, you’re seeing Tyreek starting in like a snug position right off the tackle and then flying out to the left on the same side and running a route. It’s just ways to stress a defence with that incredible speed and start-and-stop ability that him and Jaylen have.”
The NFL only allows one player to move before the snap of the ball on each play and their movement must be parallel with the line of scrimmage. This is different than the CFL, which allows multiple players to use motion and permits receivers to use the waggle, allowing them to attack the line of scrimmage with a running start timed with the snap of the football.
Miami is having receivers sprint laterally to build speed before turning their routes upfield at the snap of the ball. Only one pass-catcher can utilize this technique per play, but it’s clearly been effective as the Dolphins lead the NFL in points scored, total yards per game, and passing yards per game.
Troy Aikman made the same comparison as Rodgers during while doing commentary for ESPN’s broadcast of Monday Night Football.
“The way they motion and use those guys and get them running, in some ways it looks like a CFL offence,” said Aikman. “They’re hitting it on the fly with some really fast people, they’re stretching the defence and Tua’s making some great decisions and delivering the football like a point guard.”
Hill has made 25 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns this season, which ranks second league-wide. Waddle has caught eight passes for 164 yards, though he missed the team’s 70-20 win over the Broncos due to injury.
The NFL record for points scored in a game by a single team was set by Washington in 1966 when they defeated the New York Giants 72-41.
The Canadian professional football record for single-game points belongs to the Montreal Alouettes, who defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a score of 82-14 in 1956. However, this occurred before the CFL was officially founded in 1958. The best single-game point total since then occurred in 1990 when the Toronto Argonauts defeated the Calgary Stampeders 70-18.
The Dolphins (3-0) will visit the Buffalo Bills (2-1) on Sunday, Oct. 1 with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m. EDT in what is expected to be a tough AFC East matchup. If Miami continues to use CFL-inspired schemes to score points at a record-breaking pace, perhaps opponents will need to draw inspiration from CFL defences regarding how to stop it.