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Thursday, January 1, 2009
Dolphins could unleash more Wildcat


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Dolphins' Wildcat offense
OpponentUsesYardsAverageTDW-L
New England611919.84Win
San Diego11494.51Win
Houston88410.51Loss
Baltimore540.80Loss
Buffalo7344.90Win
Denver4-5-1.30Win
Seattle78211.72Win
Oakland10525.20Win
New England8253.10Loss
St. Louis331.00Win
Buffalo650.80Win
San Francisco11616.00Win
Kansas City45714.30Win
New York Jets10555.50Win
Total905806.4811-3

DAVIE, Fla. -- If the Miami Dolphins plan on using their Wildcat offense to beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they'll need to get even more inventive with it.

When the Ravens visited Dolphin Stadium in Week 7, the Wildcat was the hip story in the NFL. The Dolphins unleashed it three games prior and enjoyed tremendous success. They were averaging 10 yards a pop and had scored six touchdowns.

Then the Ravens' frightening defense throttled the Wildcat. Five plays for 4 yards and zero touchdowns.

Ronnie Brown had minus-4 yards on three carries. Brown handed off to Ricky Williams for a 5-yard gain and to Patrick Cobbs for a 3-yard run.

Given the Ravens' extraordinary talent and meticulous game planning, the Dolphins will need to unveil something dramatic to get one over on Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed and the guys.

"Oh, there's a good amount that's still out there one way or the other," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "Each week we try to add another wrinkle.

"Obviously, Ray is tremendous [when it comes to studying film]. Everybody knows that. When you watch him on film sometimes, it's almost like he's in your huddle the way he gets the plays. He's going to study it."

Then again, maybe the Dolphins won't run much Wildcat at all. They've used it every week since they introduced it, but in Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers they called only one Wildcat play.

Of course, the Dolphins ran it 10 times against the New York Jets last week and should have scored on a long Chad Pennington pass if a) Pennington had spotted wide-open tight end Joey Haynos, or b) Williams hadn't dropped the ball.

"We feel like right now, with what's out there on film, there's an awful lot to study," Sparano said. "And the more time you're studying some of those things, maybe you're not spending some time studying some other things."