The Miami Dolphins got some big news on Thursday morning when it was announced that Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been suspended for the next four games for a violation of the PED policy. In a statement, Ngata said that he took Aderall and accepts his suspension. While that’s a big break for the Dolphins, they still need to worry about others.
They also know that they have to match the physical play that the Ravens will no doubt bring on Sunday and Joe Philbin talked about what that's going to mean for his team when they hit the field.
“Absolutely. I think we’re going to have to,” Philbin said. “They have a good balance too. I think it’s a balanced football team. That’s one of the things that’s real impressive. When you watch them, in all three phases of the game, you can’t really say it’s not a team that’s loaded, hey, this is an offensive team or this is just a defensive team. They’re top 10 in scoring on offense. They’re top ten in scoring on defense. They’re very good on special teams. It’s a balanced team. It’s a physical team, no doubt. If they push us around all day up front on both sides of the ball, it’s not going to be a good day.”
Ryan Tannehill noted that they have a very good defensive line, even without Ngata in the lineup.
“They’re good, they’re good across the board. They’re big in base. They put their nickel rushers in with (Elvis) Dumervil and (Terrell) Suggs on the other side. They do a good job of getting around the edge and getting pressure on the quarterback. They do a good job of pressuring the quarterback. We’re going to have to have a good plan and execute it in order to give me time in the pocket.”
One player they will have to focus on as an offensive group is outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who can wreak havoc on an opposing offense. Despite Suggs starting to get up there in age, Philbin said he hasn’t seen any signs of him slowing down.
“It’s an excellent front seven. The whole defense. He’s (Terrell Suggs), I’m not sure what year it is for him, nine, 10 maybe, but he’s playing at a high level. He’s got a very good motor number one. He’s got good get off, he’s got good leverage. He can beat you high and then he can come up underneath too. He’s a very good football player and good against the run too. He can play all three downs and play them well. So he’s going to be good. Their sack differential, I think they’ve given up 15 maybe and they had 31, I don’t know. I think that’s about right. I think they have one of the best sack differentials in football, third or fourth maybe. They’re going to be two guys that are certainly going to be (important). Our guys are going to have to be up to that challenge.”
The Dolphins will no doubt have their hands full in all three phases of the game but they can neutralize it a bit if they bring the same physical attitude that the Ravens will bring to Miami.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs