Dolphins 2011 Season Stats -- Team Defense

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It should be noted that I will focus in this article on team rank statistics, rather than raw statistics.  This allows the Dolphins to be compared relatively with other NFL teams.  Unless otherwise noted, Team Defense statistical rankings are “least” or “lowest” — for example, the Dolphins allowed the 6th lowest number of points in the NFL.

Team Defense

Points Per Game — 6th
Total Yards — 15th
Passing Yards — 25th
Rushing Yards — 3rd

Total First Downs — 15th
Passing First Downs — 25th
Rushing First Downs — 11th
Third Down Percentage — 7th
Fourth Down Percentage — 22nd (tie)
Defensive Penalties — 7th most

Total Tackles — 20th
Total Sacks — 10th (tie)
Passes Defended — 23rd (tie)
Forced Fumbles — 25th (tie)
Fumbles Recovered — 32nd — 0 TDs
Interceptions — 16th — 1 TD
Takeaways — 29th (tie)

The Miami Dolphins Defense was outstanding against the run.  It allowed the third lowest amount of rushing yards and forced teams into the 6th least amount of points.  This “points allowed” statistic includes giving up 38 points to the Patriots in the first game of the season.  It also allowed the seventh lowest third down conversion percentage.  These stats along with the Defense delivering the tenth most amount of sacks means that the front 5 on the defense are its strength — the DTs, DEs, and OLBs.

However, the Dolphins Defense was poor against the pass.  It allowed the 25th most passing yards and the 25th most passing first downs.  It had only the 23rd (tied) most passes defended and the 16th most interceptions — a total of 16 including 3 interceptions by defensive linemen.  The defensive backs (DBs) and inside linebackers (ILBs) are an area that needs improvement — sorry Karlos Dansby and Vonte Davis, you are not that wonderful.  Much improvement in team passing defense could likely be seen with improvement the free safety position.

I find it particularly troubling that the Dolphins Defense was tied for 29th in the number of takeaways  — and, only one of sixteen resulted in a TD.  Also, the Dolphins Defense committed the 7th most number of penalties.  The Dolphins need to find playmakers on Defense and players who do not commit penalties.  Or, the Dolphins coaching philosophy needs to change to create a greater emphasis on making plays and not committing infractions.

Next article, I will take a look at team offense.


What do you think?


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