Sep 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running backKnowshon Moreno
(28) runs up the middle as New England Patriots outside linebackerJamie Collins
(left) and Patriots defensive endChandler Jones
(right) make the tackle during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
2. Run defense struggles
If it weren’t for the offensive line playing like a bunch of high-schoolers, this would be the biggest issue coming out of this contest. Vince Wilfork and the front seven were absolutely manhandled by the Miami offensive line, and it resulted in nearly 200 yards of rushing yards.
Knowshon Moreno, who went for over 200 last year against New England when he was with the Broncos, led the charge, totaling 134 yards on 26 carries. The Patriots were in a 3-4 defense for the majority of this game, and that is why they struggled so much in defending the run.
With Joe Vellano and Dominique Easley as two of the main defensive ends in this scheme, the Dolphins had no problem opening up giant holes, and bursting past the big guys up front. Vellano and Easley aren’t built to take up blocks like they are supposed to do when running a 3-4, and when you combine that with a bad overall game from the linebackers, you will give up a lot of rushing yards.
I was disappointed in how Jerod Mayo performed, but I am going to cut him a little slack, given that he is probably a bit rusty from missing a good amount of the 2013 season.