3 things we learned in the Miami Dolphins' sweated-out win over the New England Patriots

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Andrew Van Ginkel, Mac Jones
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

The defense proved it can get better in a week's time

I wrote last week for one of my sneaky keys of the game if the defense can simply get better. Last night showed that the defense can get better and they could do it in a week.

We saw the Dolphin's defense get completely gashed every play last week against the Chargers. This week was Rhamondre Stevenson, the corpse of Zeke Elliott for a few plays, and the wheels of Mac Jones, who ended up being their second leading rusher.

The Dolphin's defense was determined to not let last week's coincidence be this week's trend by allowing only 88 yards on the ground. The Patriots are not a dynamic team. They resemble a BIG 10 team from 1999 so if you take away their running ability there isn't anything that puts a shred of fear into your head. Miami did that and even though the Patriots had two solid drives, they never threatened the Dolphins.

Along with the stout run defense, the pass rush was in Mac Jones' face time and time again. Bradley Chubb finally arrived and had, easily, the best game of his Dolphins career. He caused a fumble and made Jones move around from the opening whistle.

But the man of the evening in the front seven was Andrew Van Ginkel. That guy filled in on the defensive line for Jaelan Phillips and I don't want to say that Phillips got Wally Pipped because that isn't going to happen AVG showed that he needs to be on the field a bit more often rushing the passer.

I will say that the Dolphin's defense appeared to start wearing down toward the end of the game. Hopefully, Phillips will be good to go next week and more interior defensive line players develop. They could use another guy on the line.

Oh, and Xavien Howard looks to be in mid-season form. No groin issues or anything like that. He's just a guy who shouldn't be trifled with at the moment. And just wait until Jalen Ramsey is back. Man alive that is going to be fun.

Butch Barry is performing miracles with the offensive line

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

First off, Butch Barry is the Miami Dolphin's offensive line coach they hired this offseason. When he was hired guys like me who didn't like the hire talked about how we didn't like the hire. Butch Barry was fired last year from the Denver Broncos and news of his firing was celebrated by the players on the Bronco's offensive line.

So naturally, I wasn't thrilled about the hire even though anything could have been better than last year's offensive line philosophy.

But it appears that I was way off and completely wrong about what Barry can accomplish. In two games against very good pass rushes, Tua has been sacked only once. I repeat, with Terron Armstead out and Kendall Laam filling in and Austin Jackson at right tackle and Isaiah Wynn starting at left guard Tua has only been put to the ground one time. Do you get how impossible that would have been to say two weeks ago? Like George Costanza once said, "It be like finding plutonium on accident? That's how impossible the play of the offensive line has been in two weeks.

And we saw how the running came along last night. Mostert isn't getting that long TD run without stellar communication and chemistry between linemen. Obviously, whatever Butch Barry is doing at practice is working very well.

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