Monday, September 17, 2012

Dolphins' D bends for yards, doesn't break for points


If bend-but-don't-break was a defensive scheme, the Miami Dolphins ran a clinic in their 35-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders were able to gain yards in chunks, particularly on medium-range throws. Quarterback Carson Palmer completed 16 passes for 10 or more yards to nine different receivers. Much of Palmer's 373 total passing yards were gained after the catch as Miami's secondary also struggled in tackling.

Miami generated little pass rush and did not record a sack, despite the fact that coordinator Kevin Coyle dialed up considerably more blitzes than in Week 1. Nor were they able to force a turnover, save for a late fourth-quarter interception by safety Reshad Jones well after the outcome had been decided.

Still, the Dolphins gave up only 13 points and one touchdown, on a short screen pass that running back Mike Goodson took down the sidelines for 65 yards.

The Dolphins were able render Darren McFadden and the Raider rushing attack ineffective, limiting the star tailback to just 41 total yards from scrimmage and 2.0 yards per carry.

Despite the struggles of the pass defense between the 20s, stellar third-down defense and domination in field position were major drivers in Miami's comfortable win.

Oakland's drives usually started deep in its own territory, including three times inside their own 10-yard line. The Raiders would only convert 1-of-12 third down chances on the afternoon.

Follow Sean @seanldonovan
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily