Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3 numbers Miami needs to improve after bye

At 0-4, the Miami Dolphins had plenty to work on over the bye week. Here are three of their biggest needs for improvement heading into the second quarter of the season:

1. Turnover differential: Miami has a minus-five differential, tied for 27th-worst in the league. Only the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have a worse number.

The Dolphins lost two fumbles and tossed five interceptions on offense, but the real difference has been in their lack of takeaways on defense. Miami has only two interceptions in four games and forced two fumbles, neither of which it recovered.

2. Third-down percentage: The Dolphins have the worst third-down offense in the league, going 13-for-48 for a 26-percent conversion rate.

They’ll have a tough time getting that part of their offense going against the New York Jets’ second-ranked third-down defense. The Jets have held opponents to a 31-percent third-down conversion rate despite starting the season 2-3.

3. Passing yards-against: The New England Patriots are the only team in the league giving up more passing yards per game than the Dolphins. The difference is the Patriots can score.

Miami’s defense has surrendered 307 yards a game through the air.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis