Miami Dolphins defense needs to tee off on Commanders Sam Howell

When the Miami Dolphins take on the Commander this Sunday, getting to Sam Howell should be a priority and very possible.

Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) and defensive end
Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) and defensive end / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins' defense has been turning it up lately. Last Sunday they registered 7 sacks against the Jets, they could have more this weekend.

Sam Howell has been sacked a league-leading 55 times this year. That isn't just by a couple either. Bryce Young is 2nd on this list at 40. Considering the Dolphins are 3rd in the NFL in sacks, at 31, they should be salivating at the thought of dictating this game's outcome from the start.

If the Dolphins can't get to Howell, they need to figure out why. Despite losing Jaelan Phillips for the year, Miami has done well without him. He missed time earlier this year and Andrew Van Ginkel stepped in without a hitch. It would be great to have him but Miami can still play quality defense without.

What is odd, however, is that despite the 55 sacks, Howell still leads the NFL in passing yards. He has 3,339 yards on the season with 18 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. Tua, who led the league for most of the first half of the season is in 4th place behind C.J. Stroud (2nd) and Josh Allen (3rd).

The margin is not very deep though. 124 yards separate Tagovailoa and Howell.

It will be interesting to see how Vic Fangio approaches the game Sunday. Traditionally, he isn't a big blitzing coach but there opportunity to get to Howell and that will create problems with routes that could and should lead to turnovers for Miami's secondary.

This is a game the Dolphins should win and so far this year the Commanders haven't done much to get into the win column consistently. They started the season 2-0 against the Cardinals and Broncos but couldn't keep it going. They have lost 8 of the last ten.