NFL Week 4: Analyzing the AFC East

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins – Defense

Overall defense: 26

Passing defense: 17

Rushing defense: 31

Only the Cleveland Browns have been worse against the run in the first month than these teal-clad defenders. The Dolphins’ struggles in that realm have been a major reason why they’ve dropped consecutive games.

In terms of points, it’s frown-inducing that the Dolphins surrendered 23 points to the Jaguars and then 41 points to the Bills. Remember, this is a team that pretty much opened a bank for Ndamukong Suh alone in order to field the NFL’s best front seven.

Expect the Jets to pound the ball all day long on Sunday. Until we actually see the Dolphins buck-up and stop the run, this is going to be an area of criticism.

The Dolphins make-up for their run defense deficiencies to some degree by ranking middle-of-the-pack defending the pass. Not surprisingly, Brent Grimes has been the man in the Miami secondary. He leads the team with three passes defended, and the interception he made against the Redskins was one of the best takeaways of the season thus far.

Back to the underachieving front seven, the secondary would be better if the pass rush got its act together. Only Jordan Phillips has registered a sack—that’s it. Through three games, the Dolphins have recorded a sole sack.

Next: Jets’ offense