Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It's going to be a heavyweight battle on Sunday when the Miami Dolphins take on the Denver Broncos. On one side, you have one of the best offenses in the league (Denver) going up against one of the best defenses in the league (Miami). On the other side, you have a rising offense (Miami) going up against an established, yet still rising, defense (Denver). It won't be easy and the Dolphins have been preparing for all of the scenarios and possibilities that may come up on Sunday.
“They are definitely a great defense," Ryan Tannehill said. "You look at the talent they have on defense as a whole. I think it all starts with your edge rushers, Von (Miller) and DeMarcus Ware. You look at the inside guys, they are great players as well and the corners on the outside (Chris) Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib. You look at the defense as a whole, they are all playmakers and they are all playing well right now. They don’t give up many yards per play. I think they lead the league in least amount of explosive (plays) and it all fits together. They are doing a great job right now.”
Joe Philbin was on the same page as Tannehill, also noting that the Broncos don't give up big plays and that they will have to earn every yard they get on Sunday.
“They don’t give up big plays. I think we are number one in yards-per-play on defense and they are number two. You can’t look at the film and say, ‘Wow, they blew this coverage,’ or ‘They don’t have a guy in this gap. Here they are, teams getting a lot of free yards and easy plays against them.’ They are well-coached on defense. Their pass rush is outstanding. They could be number one in the NFL I think in sack differential. They are right up there if they are not. It’s a good defense. It’s good.”
One of the biggest things the Dolphins offense needs to worry about is the Broncos' ferocious pass rush. With Von Miller coming from the outside along with DeMarcus Ware, things can get dangerous and disruptive in a hurry.Luckily, Tannehill and his offensive line see things like this every day in practice with Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.
“Well, it definitely helps. I think it helps our tackles. When they see those guys, especially through Cam, just the rush over and over again of two top-quality pass rushers like we have. Obviously, no two players are the same, but just seeing that high-quality pass rush throughout the year is definitely a benefit," he said. "I think the Broncos rely on their pass rush. They don’t need to pressure because they get such good pass rush from the four guys up front. Occasionally, they will throw a fifth guy in there, but, like you said, they don’t use a whole lot of pressure packages, and that is a testament to the pass rush that they can get just from their standard guys. It stresses their back end a little less if they are not taking guys out of coverage and putting them in the rush.”
Mike Wallace put it best when he called the Broncos' pass rush crazy and that everyone will have to be alert every second of every play.
“Smart. Their rush is crazy. They have some guys coming off the edge. Von (Miller) is one of the best in the game and DeMarcus Ware we all know. (They have) some athletic linebackers. Their DBs (defensive backs) are some veteran guys. Everybody’s been in the league for a couple of years. (They) have a smart group. They know how to work together, big hitters, smart, they’re real smart.”