- Troy Aikman sees elements of CFL strategy in the Miami Dolphins’ dynamic offense.
- Miami’s usage of pre-snap motion bears a resemblance to the CFL’s waggle technique.
- Miami Dolphins lead the NFL in points scored, setting records akin to CFL’s highest-scoring games.
The Miami Dolphins’ explosive offensive performance in their 70-20 win against the Denver Broncos has ignited conversations across the sports world. Notably, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and ESPN broadcaster Troy Aikman likened the Dolphins’ style of play to that of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
The CFL Connection
Aikman pointed out similarities between the Dolphins’ use of speed and pre-snap motion and the CFL’s utilization of “the waggle”—a term referring to the league’s allowance of all receivers and running backs to be in motion before the snap. Aikman lauded quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for making decisive plays, saying, “They’re hitting it on the fly with some really fast people, they’re stretching the defense, and Tua’s making some great decisions.”
Analyzing the Strategy
In a separate conversation, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also recognized the Dolphins’ CFL-inspired approach. According to Rodgers, Miami is effectively using its receivers—Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle—to gain a head start before plays. “You’re seeing Tyreek starting in a snug position right off the tackle and then flying out,” Rodgers noted.
By the Numbers
The Dolphins lead the NFL in points scored, total yards per game, and passing yards per game. Hill has caught 25 passes for 412 yards and four touchdowns, while Waddle has secured eight passes for 164 yards this season. This approach has been so effective that both Tagovailoa and Hill rank second in the NFL in passing and receiving yards, respectively.
The Waggle in the NFL?
The distinct style, resembling the CFL’s waggle, allows Miami’s receivers to build speed before running their routes. NFL players like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jason Kelce have previously advocated for the adoption of the waggle in the NFL, citing its potential benefits.
Miami’s high-scoring exploits also bring to mind record-setting CFL games. For context, the Montreal Alouettes hold the Canadian professional football record for single-game points at 82-14 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1956. While the NFL record for points in a game was set by Washington in 1966 with a 72-41 win over the New York Giants.
The Dolphins will next face the Buffalo Bills in a highly anticipated AFC East clash. The Bills have the second-fewest points allowed this season, creating an intriguing matchup against the league-leading Dolphins offense.
The Dolphins’ groundbreaking offensive strategies, drawing comparisons to CFL methods, have brought them into the spotlight. As Miami continues to dominate, the question arises: will more NFL teams look north for inspiration?
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