What a wonderful couple of days amiright? The Dolphins hosted the Ravens who have outscored Miami by about 4,000 points over the last 20 years, who were coming off a big victory over the Vikings, who are right up there for top team in the AFC, and the Dolphins do the thing you never see coming. This time instead of having a huge, embarrassing moment, they went out and they put one on the Ravens. And as we plainly saw, it was the defense that decided that if the 2021 Miami Dolphins were going to have any sliver of hope to climb out of what is a very deep hole, that it would be because of an attitude that the defense decided to embrace a few weeks ago against the Bills.
That attitude’s calling card is “screw you, pal, we’re bringing the house and we don’t care if you know it’s coming.
As a guy who made the trek from Scranton PA to South Beach, it felt good that the Dolphins actually had a plan of attack against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Shouldn’t really surprise anybody, but I had visions of Jackson running around and through the Dolphin’s defense whenever he felt like while also hitting Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews down the field. I was hoping the Dolphins would release the hounds Mr. Burns style like they’ve had the last few weeks against the Bills and Texans. They didn’t disappoint.
Over the last few weeks, the Dolphins realized that they have a defense that was designed to bring pressure and play man-to-man behind it. Not sure why it took them two months to figure that out since that’s what they did last year, but hey here we are. Brian Flores can say all he wants that he’s not calling plays on defense, but this newfound approach has his fingerprints all over it.
There’s plenty of guys on the defense that are worth recognition for the success that side of the ball has had over the past three weeks. But the guy we can’t stop talking about, whose jersey is nowhere to be found at the Dolphin’s team store or anywhere else in Miami for that matter is Jevon Holland. Roll that beautiful Hollan footage.
Holland was everywhere and anywhere on Thursday night. Every 3rd down, everyone around me in the stands saw the Dolphins bringing everyone but four guys up to the line and we all called out Holland saying he’s coming. When he came, he was a controlled missle and when he played back he was a lightning-quick force of nature ready to break up any ball.
It was ultimately a team effort on defense to stifle the Ravens drive after drive. You can tell that the entire defense was having a blast playing because they knew their assignments and they had no problem with the Ravens knowing exactly what was coming. It was no secret to anybody what Miami was going to try on defense after the first possession for the Ravens.
This is my favorite part about the Dolphin’s defensive ascension; they’re acting like Jim Brown telling the defense exactly where he was running to and seeing if there’s anything you can do about it. The Dolphins need to keep that up going forward.
On Sunday against the Jets, regardless of who the quarterback is, they need to bring the kitchen sink every 3rd and long and also other downs. Show 7-8 guys up at the line of scrimmage and make the quarterbacks make a quick decision with defenders barring down on them. Howard and Jones are getting paid a ton of money to lock fools up.
The rest of the secondary is up for the task of being on islands. Do not deviate from what has been working. If you get beat deep, then you get beat deep. Make them make low percentage plays. That’s the style of the defense. That’s the attitude of the defense and it’s fun not just for us fans but also for the players. Imagine being a 3-7 team and you have the swagger of a one-loss team? That’s what this team has right now and who knows?
Maybe this can keep working for another month. Seems unlikely, but at least we have reason to be invested in Sunday’s game. Who would have thought that two weeks ago? Not many.