Dolphins are now Considered the NFL’s Best Defense

Monday Morning Quarterback’s Andy Benoit now believes that we have the best defense in the NFL.

Let’s hope that D shines this Sunday at Denver!

I don’t often provide links to other Dolphins articles (there are too many!), but we’ll make an exception here because Benoit’s study of the defense is outstanding. ┬áMake sure you review his breakdown of Vernon’s sack in the Chiefs game.

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  1. This has been recognized by the Denver Post, which printed a short article entitled, “Broncos Problems Just Got Bigger With Threat of Dolphins’ Defense.” As usual the comment threads are pretty revealing about Broncos fans. Apparently there are a bunch (or a vocal few?) who think Tebow was a better player/athlete, and that Manning is a “snobby cappuccino sipper”.
    Let’s hope he doesn’t sip any on Sunday – give him some chamomile tea and put him to sleep!

  2. That was a great article by Benoit – including his analysis of our defense against Kansas City (didn’t we lose that game?).
    I agree with Benoit that we have the most dynamic defense. But the best? I’m not sure.
    As I’ve said here before, one of my most important defensive stats is points allowed per game. Dolphins are now at 18. That’s waaaay down from the 24 points we were allowing more than a month ago. At that time I commented here that until we get than stat under 20, this team isn’t going to take off (because our offense wasn’t/isn’t a scoring powerhouse).
    Since I wrote that, the offense is better – and the defense is better.
    And yet, if you look across the board at the general defensive team stats (per game), we’re not #1 in any category.

    #4 in points allowed/game: 18 (after #1 Detroit’s 15.6)
    #2 in total yds allowed/game: 302.5 (after #1 Detroit’s 290.3)
    #2 in passing yds alwd/gm: 208 (after #1 KC’s 201.6)
    #8 in rushing yds alwd/gm: 94.5 (after #1 Detroit’s 68.8)

    That last stat gives me the most immediate concern, because Denver is at #2, with 73.4 rushing yards allowed per game; and as y’all know, Miami is a rushing team right now.

    Nonetheless, a case could be made (based on those stats) that Detroit actually has the best defense. Don’t forget – they beat us!

    I think what makes us the best defense (or appear to be the best) is perhaps one particular defense stat. You have to delve a little deeper into the numbers on ESPN, but I just found out that we’re tied for #1 in terms of yards allowed per pass. (We’re tied with Denver, by the way).
    That stat means a lot because, as y’all also know, the NFL is basically a PASSING league. The biggest NFL stars are quarterbacks. No matter who else does what, quarterbacks have the most hero worship. Also, Most NFL offenses are geared to be passing offenses.
    The Dolphins’ defense is currently (tied for) the best in the NFL in stopping quarterbacks from passing, and receivers from catching. Period.
    We are the fly in the ointment, so to speak, of the NFL.
    Which brings me back to the upcoming Denver game. It just so happens that Denver’s offense is #2 (after Indy) for passing yards per game. No surprise – we’re talking about Payton Manning. But wait for this next (and last) stat:
    Denver’s offense is almost at the BOTTOM in terms of rushing yards per game. They’re at #27 (89.9 yards), sandwiched in between the TITANS and the BUCS!
    What does all this mean (to me)?
    It means that Miami’s great against passing teams. Denver’s a passing team. And then when Denver goes to rush (at which they generally suck), we’ll be right there waiting for them. Conversely, when our #6 rushing offense goes to rush, it will basically be like we’re playing one of the worst NFL teams.
    I think this game is going to look like the Packers or Lions games, in terms of gameplay and energy. I predict a really good, well-fought game.
    They must be firing on all cylinders, AND have no (major) COACHING ERRORS. Things like – oh I don’t know – CLOCK MANAGEMENT will most likely matter.
    If we can hit all that, we will win.
    And by the way, if we beat the Broncos we’ll be looking like a serious playoff team. Then it’s on to New England.
    Go Phins!

    1. Blarg – I got mixed up at the end with all my stats and writing this at 6 in the morning. Indeed, Denver is very good at stopping the rush. I said that earlier in my comment, but then got mixed up later. Sorry about that…
      Nonetheless we can win this one!

  3. IF someone told me that we would score 35 points against Denver, I would have said we had a 70% chance of winning this game.

    However, if someone told me we would give up 39 points, I would have said we had a < 10% of winning.

    That's the thing with this supposed "great" defense- they don't step up when it matters most. Sure, they look great in our wins (SD, OAK, JAX, BUF) but where are they when we need a late game stop (GB, DET, DEN)??

    It seems like every few years, the Dolphins have a "Top 3" defense, based on yards. It's no different than the "Killer B's", "Miami Pound Machine", etc- they may have their moments, but they aren't "clutch".

    I know there isn't anyone as good as the 85 Bears, or early 00 Ravens, but I say we're not even close to some of the recent Steelers or Patriot defenses.

    Sure, our defense has kept us in games, but when we need a sack, 3 and out, turnover, etc- does anyone really expect our defense to step up? Anyone who says yes is lying- because once Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford got the ball back late in the 4th, we all said the exact same thing, "Oh sh*t…."

    Listen, I love the Dolphins, and I have a lot of respect for our defense. Having said this, I ain't about to get all up on their tip until they show they can take over a game, and/or come up with a key stop. Giving up 22 points in the 4th quarter is not the sign of a great, or even good defense.

    KC is now two games up on us with the head to head tie breaker (7-4). Our conference record is decent, so we need PIT and CLE to start losing and we absolutely have to beat BAL to even have a chance at the playoffs.

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