Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It’s not an understatement to say that the Miami Dolphins defense dominated the Chicago Bears offense, which was hyped up all throughout last week. Indeed, they gave them fits starting with the very first drive and didn’t let up until the game was over.
“I just thought they had great tempo early in the game and throughout the first half Chicago really struggled to get any kind of rhythm and balance offensively,” Joe Philbin said. “I thought they played the screen game really well – we knew that the screens were a big part of what they did and thought our defense was on top of those, jumping those real quickly. And I thought overall we tackled well and that’s big.”
The defense only allowed 224 total yards from the Bears but more importantly, held Alshon Jeffery to 9 yards on 2 receptions and Brandon Marshall to 48 yards on 6 receptions. While Martellus Bennett had 58 yards on 5 receptions and while they allowed Matt Forte to rack up 60 yards on 6 receptions, it says a lot when the secondary was able to basically shut their receiving corps.
“I think again our defensive staff had a good plan going into the game. I thought we mixed up our coverages well and I thought that we had adequate pressure on the quarterback,” Philbin said. “I don’t know how many sacks we ended up with but I thought we were forcing their quarterback out of the pocket and he didn’t have a lot of time. The rhythm of their passing game never got on track so that’s a testament to a lot of things: good coverage, good pass-rush – I think both of those worked together real well.”
Another big part of their success in shutting down the Bears' offense was the fact that they were able to take guys out of plays on almost every snap. This, as Philbin said, limits the number of progressions that the opposing quarterback can go through and we saw that in action on Sunday.
“It’s just less options for the quarterback as he goes through his progressions. There (are) less guys getting out, there (are) less opportunities for him to get rid of the football. Again (there are) pluses and minuses to everything we do. But I think that’s the one thing, if you can cover their primary receiver – primary read – the quarterback has less things to look at once that primary receiver gets covered.”