Miami’s defensive line was supposed to be one of, if not its biggest asset coming into this season. But until the last 3 weeks, there has been an extreme lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Matt Cassell seemed in constant durress, was sacked 5 times last week, and the Chiefs only managed to score 3 points
against a weak Dolphins secondary. Against the Giants, Eli Manning came alive in the fourth quarter, but that inability to finish a game has been a problem since last season. Miami still managed to manage a sack against Manning, and hold the Giants to only 58 rushing yards. Then, of course before that they sacked Tebow 7 times. That’s 13 sacks in 3 games, and 2 horrible fourth quarter collapses. Have Paul Soliai, Cameron Wake, Jared Odrick, and company finally figured out how to occupy blocks and set the linebackers free on the quarterback? Or has Mike Nolan just started calling the right plays? Whatever it is, this is what we expected all season, isn’t it? Pundits around the league were talking about Detroit and Miami’s defensive lines in the same sentence. The Dolphins seemed to have plenty of talent, a lot of depth, and a season under celebrated Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan. I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think it’s strength and conditioning, their bodies were not ready to play. It was apparent in the first game of the season as the defense huffed and puffed against the Patriots
, and it’s been obvious in all the fourth quarter collapses. These players obviously didn’t go through as rigorous of an off-season as they should have because of the lockout. Is this a lack of leadership on defense? A lack of player leadership on the whole team? It begs the question: what would the Dolphins record be had their not been a lockout? Unfortunately, it’s too late for Miami, having lost 7 games. Unless they can reel off 9 straight wins
, the Dolphins are likely looking towards next year because of this extremely slow start. What does everyone else think?