The Miami Dolphins run defense has been pretty bad the past three weeks, giving up 661 yards and an average of 5.7 yards per rush over the past three games. While it looked like they made some progress in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they fell apart in the second half, allowing the Ravens to control the clock and cruise to an easy victory.
Where do the Dolphins go from here? Joe Philbin says that they have to do a better job of controlling the line of scrimmage and not getting pushed out of their lanes.
“We had our run-fits at times weren’t as good as they needed to be. Our tackling wasn’t as good as it needs to be. Our block protection, there are certain fundamentals in football in run defense that have to show up on a consistent basis. Sometimes we play the run. Obviously, early in the game we played the run pretty well. Later in the game, we did not play the run very well. We have to be more consistent and execute better.”
Kevin Coyle said that it starts with him and that he thought the team was doing a good job until the last two drives of Sunday’s game, saying it was about 106 yards after totaling it up.
“That’s inexcusable, whether it happens at the end of the game, it’s on us to get it right. I thought early on, we played the run pretty well, like we are capable of playing. I think a lot of indication of what we can do against a good running team during the course of the game. We didn’t finish the way we need to finish and we have to get that fixed.”
From here, Coyle said he will sit down, watch the film, and analyze every single play like they do each week. While he couldn’t point out one specific reason for the collapse, he said they need to do a better job in all areas because it’s not acceptable. He also downplayed the fact that the players lacked effort on the final defensive drive.
“I don’t think that was the case. I think if you look at the tape, you wouldn’t see that. I think we had a couple of misfits in the run game and balls broke out. They gained some big, big chunks there at the end of the game, but I don’t think it was a matter of guys not finishing and guys not giving effort.”
The New England Patriots are up next and they boast a dangerous backfield that will wreak havoc all over the Dolphins’ defense if they don’t get it together before Sunday.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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