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The Blitz: Run Stops and the League's Best Third Down Defense

December 1, 2020

The Dolphins continue to make life difficult on opposing offenses. Holding multiple teams (49ers, Rams, Chargers) to their worst statistical performances on offense at the conclusion of those respective games has helped vault Miami near the top of the leaderboard in some of the game's most important statistics.

After holding the Jets to just three points Sunday, and three total points in two games against Gang Green this season, Miami moved to the second-ranked scoring defense (18.6 points per game) and the best third-down unit (32.8 percent conversion rate allowed) in the NFL.

A big boost for the Dolphins in holding the Jets to just 3-of-13 on third downs was the success of the run defense. Miami held Jets running backs to three yards or less on 15 of their 23 carries.

Today on The Blitz, we'll look at Miami's run-stuffing effort and the boost given by defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah against both the run and pass.

Injury Report

The first Dolphins-Bengals Week 13 injury report will be available Wednesday afternoon.

They Said It

Miami's biggest run stop came on a crucial fourth-and-1 play with the Jets in the red zone early in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Elandon Roberts shot up the middle and met running back Frank Gore for a 1-yard loss and turnover on downs.

"It's no secret we were very disappointed in our defense a week ago, and I think we came out and played good fundamental Dolphins football," Roberts said. "We were able to play some good run defense this week."

"I look at it like, if a team wants to run the ball on fourth-and-1, it's more so disrespectful as a defense and it tests your defense."

Cornerback Nik Needham intercepted his first pass of the season and the third of his career. He credits the Dolphins ability to get stops on early downs to create takeaway situations on third down.

"When you stop them on first down it puts them in an awkward situation – second-and-long … They need to get back on track," Needham said. "And if they don't get that, then it's third-and-long and they're really stuck. So it definitely puts us at an advantage if we can get out there and get it done – good run stops on first down and second down."

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On this Day in Dolphins History

December 1, 1985 - Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner Joseph Robbie officially breaks ground on the new 75,000-seat Dolphin Stadium.

Stat of the Day

Ogbah is more than just a pass rusher. In addition to his eight sacks (tied for seventh-most in the NFL) and 46 quarterback pressures (tied for fifth among edge defenders, per Pro Football Focus) Ogbah is thwarting opposing run offenses with similar success.

His 22 run stops (tackles within two yards of the line of scrimmage) are tied for 13th among edge defenders.

Content on Tap

Don't forget to check out Dolphins Today hosted by yours truly (Travis Wingfield). We'll recap the win at the Meadowlands, talk about the exciting growth of Dolphins Challenge Cancer and tell you how you can contribute.

Plus, Drive Time is back with the all-22 review and an in-depth look at the stats, snap counts and much more. We'll also hear from Dolphins coordinators and offensive assistants before recapping it all on Top News.

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