Dolphins using motion like no other NFL offense ever


With a 70-point, 726-yard game on Sunday against the Broncos, the Dolphins’ offense is doing things we’ve never seen before. And head coach Mike McDaniel’s scheme appears to be ahead of the rest of the league.

Specifically, McDaniel is using a player in motion at the snap like no other coach has ever done.

The Dolphins have had a player in motion at the snap on 59 percent of plays this season, according to Seth Walder of ESPN’s Sports Analytics department. That’s by far the most that any team has used motion since 2017, which is as far back as that data has been tracked. And, given that teams use motion much more now than they used to, that 59 percent figure is almost certainly the most in NFL history.

League-wide, there’s been a trend toward using motion much more in recent years. In 2017, 4 percent of plays featured a man in motion at the snap, and so far this season, 20 percent of plays had a man in motion. But no other team is using motion like the Dolphins.

And it’s working for the Dolphins: They’re more effective on plays with a man in motion, both running and passing plays.

The NFL is a copycat league, and it’s probably just a matter of time before other teams are recognizing the success the Dolphins are having, and attempting to replicate it with motion at the snap. But for now, the Dolphins have a decided schematic advantage. The Broncos found that out the hard way on Sunday.

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