One of the biggest problems the Miami Dolphins have faced not only last night, but also against the Denver Broncos, was stopping the run. Against the Broncos, they gave up 201 rushing yards and on Monday night against the New York Jets, they gave up 277 yards with over 200 of them coming in the first half alone.
The Dolphins will need to get better moving forward if they want to compete over the next four weeks and secure a spot in the playoffs. That's why Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle will no doubt be working hard this week to correct these issues and Philbin said that is starts with tackling. However, eh also wasn’t afraid to give the Jets credit for the various formations and plays that they ran.
“You have to give them some credit. They had a couple of good schemes. Some of the reverses they took advantage. We play with good speed on defense and that’s by design. You have to give them some credit. They had a couple of well-designed plays. The Chris Johnson run especially, that’s a standard play that you can’t let get out for 47 yards. You look at that play and you would say, ‘Boy, the tackling wasn’t very good there.’”
Philbin said one of the things he would consider is changing the defensive lien rotation to get more of the better run-stoppers in the game earlier and more often.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out, but that being said we kind of had a plan all along to get a number of different guys (on the field). I think if you watch film across the league, that’s pretty consistent with a lot of the teams. Certainly we are only going to play guys we feel are worthy that earn the playing time. We will kind of consider that as we move forward, but again I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle said that in the end, it comes down to individual match-ups and execution when the plays are called.
“I think there are isolated break downs that we need to get fixed. Some of the plays that have broken out on us, like last night, were not your conventional run plays, when you’re talking about reverses and things of the nature. We’ve got to get some of that cleaned up. Some of the other plays that we gave up during the course of the game, we really need to get back to basics and do a better job of fitting the run game. I believe we’re going to do that.”
During the game, many on social media, including myself, said that the Dolphins should bring one or both safeties down in the box to support the run defense. However, Coyle said it’s not that easy.
“Part of it. But to be honest with you, there were times in the first half where we were in the same configuration. But yeah, you get into overload situations where you have more players than the offense does blockers and you challenge them to go throw the football on the perimeter. They didn’t get into that passing game until very late in the game.”
To the credit of players and coaches, they went into the locker room at halftime after being dominated in the first half and adjusted various things before coming out in the second half and shutting down the Jets offense, including getting an interception to end the game as the Jets were trying to drive down the field in the final seconds.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs