Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
There were several factors in Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers that led to a dominant victory. Yes, all three phases of the team played extremely well but earlier this week, the coaches got a little more specific with each unit and they all fed off each other.
Joe Philbin pointed out Ryan Tannehill and said that there were moments in the game where you stood there and understood how great of a game he was playing.
“It might have been that crossing route that he threw to Mike Wallace. Maybe one of those ones that he just kind of went through his progression and sat in the pocket and didn’t panic and just kind of sat back there. I thought he did that another time with Charles Clay pretty well also where you could see his eyes kind of scanning the field. He was provided that kind of opportunity because of the way the O-line (offensive line) protected. I thought some of those pictures where he was in the pocket, we’ve always known he throws the ball well on the move and he’s athletic and all of that stuff, which he is and he did a good job at. I thought some of those in the pocket were really encouraging signs, kind of like the Chicago one where he boom-boom-boom and threw the ball over there.”
Kevin Coyle pointed out the fact that the time of possession by the Dolphins offense helped keep the defense fresh and allowed them to do a variety of things that they normally wouldn’t be able to do with quick turnarounds.
“It was great. I hope we can do it every week the same way we had it in Chicago it was very similar, maybe even more one sided, early in the game there. When you can be rested and go out there, and we also, if you noticed, Kacey did a great job of rolling those guys through during and throughout the game. They were fighting each other to get back out there at times, because once we got the lead, we knew they had to throw the ball and that’s a fun time to play defense, particularly defensive line when you can tee off and rush. I think there was some joking going on during the course of the game, even at the end of the game, who was going to be in there early downs and who was going to be able to come in on third down to rush the quarterback. That was fun and I thought the guys did a phenomenal job because we compressed the pocket on him. Even when he was throwing the ball, he was throwing it with people really up in his face. I think Jared Odrick caused the first interception with a great push and that was something we had a talked about and drilled and showed them on tape all week and they went out and executed it.”
In the end, Coyle said that they went into the game with the idea that they would make them one dimensional by stopping the run game and forcing Phillip Rivers to pass the ball throughout the majority of the game. That’s exactly what happened as Branden Oliver and Donald Brown weren’t able to get anything going.
“We went into the game with the feeling that, as we do almost every game, that we needed to try to make them one dimensional and stop the run game. I thought we did a terrific job of that and really, that coupled with the fact that we were scoring on offense. We’re a tough team defensively when we’re playing with a lead because we’ve got some real guys that can rush the passer and guys that can cover. It was a game that when we did stop them early on and we were able to get a lead, we did a lot of real positive things. We rushed the quarterback well, we pressured them, we got turnovers. When you do that, generally, you’re going to put yourself in a position to win.”
The Dolphins will look to make the Detroit Lions one-dimensional as well but I have feeling that they’ll be putting their emphasis on stopping the pass and forcing them to run instead of the other way around this week.