The Miami Dolphins Defense and Special Teams units looked good today in beating the Buffalo Bills 15-10 in Orchard Park, NY. Welcome back Miami Defense!
- Trent Edwards is The Hunted. He was sacked twice.
It was the season opener for both teams and they both, “came to play” as the trite saying goes. The Bills were definitely aggressive and strongly motivated. The Dolphins were just as much so and better still, unveiled their real 3-4 “Robber” Defense to the world at long last.
Without going into a full description of the game, for which highlights can be found and which many news organizations will be reporting, I can tell you that the defense showed 2 sacks and several near-interceptions, and twice it looked like Benny Sapp (the recent acquisition from Minnesota) would come back with a pick – once he clearly did not grab the ball though and the 2nd seemed to be a pick and was ruled so on the field but then called-back on booth review (I believe, incorrectly). And Jason Allen dropped a definite pick-6 as well.
And the Dolphins Special Teams finally came away with something for which they do not have to hang their heads as they scored a Safety (2 points) in the 2nd half when pressure and intensity from the Dolphins caused the Bills long-snapper to put the ball way too high for the punter to reach and this went out of bounds in the End Zone. And no, I do not attribute that to an accident by the punter but rather an accomplishment by the Dolphins.
In fact, there were not many notable plays in favor of the Bills and Lee Evans [WR], and their other top players were quiet today.
As reported in Bleacher Report, ” Defense played very well overall. Koa Misi and [Jared] Odrick made plays as rookies. Cameron Wake put pressure on the quarterback. [Karlos] Dansby had a sack and great coverage out of starting cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Jason Allen.”
Ronnie Brown had a great running game against Buffalo with 13 attempts for 65 yds and a TD
Ok, this was not a flawless production out of Davie, FL and the team and coaches definitely have work to do, a la one dropped pass by Brandon Marshall (was under-thrown, but still went through his hands). But he still had 8 catches for 52 yards and made it look fairly easy.
Andy Kent, with MiamiDolphins.com had this to say, “Nolan kept Buffalo guessing and confused with different looks and personnel, resulting in just 166 total yards and just 57 in the second half, and had it not been for a long 51-yard field goal by Rian Lindell, zero points on the scoreboard in the first half. The tempo was set on the opening drive as Miami pulled linebackers Koa Misi and Tim Dobbins and went with the nickel package with Benny Sapp the extra cornerback and Bobby Carpenter the nickel linebacker.”
“After back-to-back incompletions by Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, with one knocked down at the line by nose tackle Randy Starks, linebacker Karlos Dansby came in untouched on a blitz off the right edge and sacked Edwards for a 9-yard loss to force a punt out of the gate, Miami’s offense put together a 9-play, 37-yard drive that led to Dan Carpenter’s 32-yard field goal after that stop.
“It could have been better,” said Dansby, who has set the bear very high for himself and this defense. “I missed a tackle in the hole and that’s not like me. That’s not like me, so I’ve got to back and start hitting those tackling dummies or something. That’s not Pro Bowl caliber. But we came to the game and didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know how they were going to try to attack us. We kind of had an idea because we saw what they did in the preseason but they never show everything they have.” [Andy Kent, Miami Dolphins Game Center]
There definitely should have been more scoring by the Offense. And absolutely, this should have been a blow-out win by the ‘Phins.
And the 1 successful drive by Buffalo that was stopped to a 4 and 15 down, should not have then resulted in a touchdown thrown in desperation by Trent Edwards – the receiver was wide open across the middle in the End Zone.
BUT: I’m sure that all of these points will be addressed by the coaches and impressed upon the team so the mistakes don’t reoccur.
What’s important to remember right now is that the basic ingredients of Offense, Defense and Special Teams do WORK. And that is a big positive which can and will be facilitated and built-upon.