The Miami Dolphins defense did all it could in their loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night, but they came up short.
I have been writing these defensive grades for the past few weeks now and most of the time I know exactly what to write. It comes rather easily and I feel justified in whatever grade I decide to give the defense.
I would feel bad grading the team this week though.
They gave up 32 points to one of the best offenses in the league quarterbacked by one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The 32 points sounds bad, but they shut the Bills out in the third quarter.
That allowed the offense a chance to get back into the game.
I know the points allowed and the yards allowed looks bad, but I genuinely do not know what more this depleted Dolphins defense could have done.
So many guys are injured. Emmanuel Ogbah, Byron Jones, Elijah Campbell, Eric Rowe, Javon Holland got hurt during the game, the list of injured Dolphins players goes on.
There is an old saying that the best team does not win the Super Bowl, the healthiest team does.
At the end of the day, the Dolphins’ defense is not healthy enough for them to stop teams like the Bills.
The defense is however good enough and well coached enough to have good stretches. For example, the third quarter against the Bills on Saturday.
During those stretches the offense has to show up and put up points. The Dolphins’ offense did that to an extent. They outscored the Bills 13-0 in the third quarter, but it was not enough.
The offense slowed down in the fourth quarter and the Dolphins’ defense ran out of gas. The Bills took advantage and won the game.
If I had to give the Dolphins’ defense a grade I would give them a B. They did enough with a depleted roster to allow the Dolphins’ offense, the strength of this team, to go and win it.
The offense just could not get it done.
This is the standard going forward. Can the Dolphins’ defense have one stretch where they allow the offense to either increase the lead or comeback?
During that stretch can the offense capitalize?
That will be the difference between a playoff run, a first round exit, or potentially even making the playoffs.