The Dolphins have leaned a lot on their offence in the first 9 games this season, but it was the defence that won the game against Las Vegas on Sunday.
With the offence sputtering it was a much needed performance from the defence. Here’s our takeaways from the game.
DOLPHINS DEFENCE IS CLICKING
The Dolphins defence took three second half turnovers, including the game sealing pick in the end zone with 25 seconds left. They hurried O’Connell all day and looked every inch a Super Bowl calibre unit with Jalen Ramsey once again stealing the show.
Ramsey gave up just one catch on 4 targets and took 2 interceptions. If there was ever an announcement that you shouldn’t throw his way this was it. With Ramsey playing boundary instead of Kohou this Dolphins defence has started to look special. And the added benefit of that is Kohou moving back to slot where he is a better fit and a much better performer.
Head Coach Mike McDaniel was upbeat about the defence after the game. “I think that there’s a lot of very prideful, very high-quality players on that side of the ball, and you figure it’s just a matter of time with the way that our defense is orchestrated from a coaching perspective, starting with Vic Fangio, but really down to all the assistant coaches, and then you see guys strain each and every week.”
THE DOLPHINS OFFENCE NEEDS TO ADAPT
We are now seeing the trend that defence’s will play a lot of cover-2, with both safeties staying deeper off the ball to limit the explosive play potential. Tyreek Hill showed that he can still break free in some situations but it’s getting much harder. The Dolphins can move the ball well, but need to adapt their offense slightly now that teams are making the adjustments.
It shouldn’t be a problem for McDaniel to adjust, assuming the Achane injury isn’t too serious. But it is slightly worrisome that these adjustments weren’t onboarded during the bye week. However, maybe they are just being saved for the bigger games that remain this season.
|Passing 1st downs||10||12|
|Rushing 1st downs||2||7|
|1st downs from penalties||0||2|
|3rd down efficiency||4-14||3-11|
|4th down efficiency||0-2||0-1|
|Yards per Play||5.0||6.2|
|Yards per pass||6.0||8.1|
|Yards per rush||2.3||3.5|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|