Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins will certainly have their hands full on Sunday when they face off against the Denver Broncos. Not only will they have to go up against one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, but they’ll also have to go up against their high-powered offense and all of the weapons that they possess.
“The scheme is very good, number one. There’s good balance within the scheme,” Joe Philbin said. “There is good distribution of the football within the scheme. If you commit too many guys to defend the pass, then you certainly leave yourself susceptible to the run. Again, I think there has to be balance from a defensive perspective to counter that. That’s why I think there are going to be some completions against us.”
How exactly does Philbin plan to counter that? He said it starts with tackling and then limiting the yards after the catch so there aren’t as many explosive plays.
“So we’ve got to tackle real well, limit the yards after the catch. He’s so accurate that I think some of their success has been getting the ball in the hands of these guys and letting them run with the ball after the catch. We’ve got to be tight in coverage, wrap up and tackle well. There are going to be some completions.”
The ability for the receivers on the Broncos to get big chunks of yards after the catch is one of the most dangerous threats they pose to a defense. Kevin Coyle recognizes that and like Philbin, said that they will have to tackle well since almost all of the passes that Manning throws are underneath the coverage.
“Peyton is one of the finest quarterbacks to have ever played the game. He is still functioning at an extremely high level. Schematically, they throw a lot of underneath routes, a lot of crossing routes, a lot of option routes. He’s got receivers that can run the pivots and little stick routes and shake routes. He gets them the ball and, if you aren’t right there, they are going to either break a tackle or turn it up the field and gain positive yardage. In Sunday’s game, they threw for 370 yards and there is probably just the one busted coverage where they had a deep ball that was 40-some odd yards for the touchdown. Other than that, most of the stuff was underneath. You look up at the end of the game, you don’t think that they are gaining a lot of yards, but yet they are second in the league in passing. It’s a difficult challenge. He knows where he is going with the ball. You can see how he orchestrates the entire offense. He’s going to try to get them in the right play each and every time.”
The Dolphins defense has been forcing every team they’ve played thus far to throw underneath their coverage and have done a great job limiting the big plays. That’s another reason why the Dolphins match-up well against this Broncos team. They will be used to all of the underneath routes and hopefully, they’ll be able to make things happen on the field on Sunday.