NOTEBOOK: Dolphins Defense Plays Tough In 23-16 Loss To New England

Posted Dec 2, 2012

Defensive stalwarts reach milestones in tough division loss.

The Miami Dolphins managed to slow down the top offense in the league this afternoon and hold the New England Patriots well below their scoring average and average for total yards in a game. They just happened to come up short in a 23-16 loss.

A handful of defensive starters came up with some big plays and reached some made a dent in the statistics page while frustrating Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Here are some of them:

Statistical Milestones

When Reshad Jones picked off Tom Brady late in the first quarter for his third interception of the season he ended Brady’s streak of 202 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. … Defensive tackle Paul Soliai matched his career-high for a single season with his sack in the first half giving him two. … The 10 rushing yards Miami allowed in the first half were the fewest allowed by the team since November 28th, 2010, when the Oakland Raiders managed just six. … Defensive end Cam Wake’s sack of Brady in the third quarter gave him 10.5 for the season, tying him with A.J. Duhe for ninth in team history (38.5) and giving him double digits for the second time in his career. He had 14 sacks in 2010 when he made the Pro Bowl. … Rookie running back Marcus Thigpen had his first official NFL carrier on the first quarter and gained 8 yards to help set up Dan Carpenter’s 44-yard field goal.

Eye In The Sky

Center Mike Pouncey and left guard Richie Incognito picked things up in the second quarter at the line of scrimmage against Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. The two of them succeeded in moving him off of the ball and out of the way on some big runs by Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Marcus Thigpen. They also kept him away from rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill as she found his rhythm on the last drive of the first half. … Rookie Jonathan Martin responded to the absence of Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long after Long left the game in the first quarter with a triceps injury by moving over to his natural side and locking down Tannehill’s blind side. Nate Garner took over at right tackle and helped provide a clean pocket for Tannehill on that touchdown drive at the end of the first half and in the second half. … Miami’s interior of the defensive line completely shut down New England’s ground game in the first half, holding the Patriots to just 10 yards, and helped open up the edge on the pass rush. The Dolphins got to Brady four times, with sacks by safety Reshad Jones and Koa Misi early in the fourth quarter forcing the Patriots to settle for a field goal after they had a first down at the Miami 2. Jones got his on a perfectly times safety blitz and Misi benefited from solid coverage in the secondary on third down.


The Dolphins travel across the country to take on the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park next Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
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