The Miami Dolphins defense was the star tonight and featured 4 turnovers and a goal-line stand, not to mention several stops for losses against the run and a couple of sacks. And this was a sight for sore eyes. Yes, Defense Impressive Against the Bucs. And frankly, I just don’t care that this is, “only a preseason game” at this point. Football is back and the defense has been revamped and the improvement is quite evident.
I’ve been stating throughout the last 4 weeks that this defense is different; that the scheme does matter. And, although this is but an early test, the swarming and attacking style being played tonight should stand as an early indication that we are now in a better situation for Dolphins football. Note to yourself: remember to add them to your FFL team as the 2nd defense because who knows how good they could get.
The best part for many fans will be the goal-line stand in the 2nd half. The Dolphins 2nd and 3rd string defenders stood tall and a couple of passes were batted-away to preserve a win. It should also be noted that the 2nd string defense played tough and was a swarming, run stopping effort and looked good. Sean Smith, who started 16 games last year for the ‘Fins finally showed an interception (albeit in the preseason) as some payback for his efforts.
Paul Solai was a standout player, recovering a fumble and stopping several runs, he plugged the middle well as the 2nd string Nose Tackle. Paul Soliai | #96 | NT. Miami Dolphins | Official Team Site. Height: 6-4 Weight: 355 Age: 26. Born: 12/30/1983 Santa Ana , CA. College: Utah.
The Offense did not look as good and this was due in part to the rainy start of the game when the 1st string team was on the field; even Brandon Marshall dropping 2 passes to go without a catch for the night. But perhaps another reason that the offense struggled was due to playing throughout TC against the new defensive scheme: the offense may need to find their zone and get comfortable. I’ve no doubt they will do this before too long. And the 2nd string offense run by Tyler Thigpen was effective in moving the ball once a rhythm was established; Thigpen ended-up 10 for 19 on the night.
Ok, now for the “back to earth” moment here. They did allow some completions by the Buc’s 2nd string QB that should not have been allowed. But on the other hand, they very nearly picked-off a couple of others by him as well. But this was one game that as a Dolphins fan I did not have to hold my breath with concern and take it in the gut while the Dolphins defense was playing and you felt that at any time something big could happen for the ‘Fins.