Dolphins need to find an­swers on de­fense to chal­lenge in AFC

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS - By Steve Reed

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C.—De­spite an em­bar­rass­ing per­for­mance on Mon­day night, the Mi­ami Dolphins re­main in play­off con­tention in the medi­ocre AFC.

But if the Dolphins (4-5) hope to chal­lenge for a post­sea­son berth they’ll need to fix a strug­gling de­fense. Mi­ami has al­lowed 37.3 points per game dur­ing its cur­rent three-game los­ing streak, which in­cluded a 45-21 loss to the Carolina Pan­thers on Mon­day night.

Carolina piled up 458 yards of of­fense, the most in the fran­chise’s 23-year his­tory.

“There is no way we should give up 350 yards with the play­ers we have, let alone 550,” said Dolphins de­fen­sive end An­dre Branch. “We just have to go back to work and it will be fixed for sure.” It will need to be soon. Things won’t get much eas­ier for the Dolphins who still have to face Tom Brady and the de­fend­ing Su­per Bowl cham­pion New England Pa­tri­ots twice in the next four weeks.

“It was a frus­trat­ing night,” Branch said. “The coaches will fig­ure out how to get it fixed.”

The Pan­thers gashed the Dolphins re­peat­edly on the ground, run­ning for 294 yards and av­er­ag­ing 8.2 yards per carry — and that in­cludes two kneel downs by backup quar­ter­back Derek An­der­son which brought the av­er­age down sig­nif­i­cantly. The pass de­fense wasn’t any bet­ter, al­low­ing Cam New­ton to throw for 254 yards and four touch­downs.

At one point the Pan­thers scored touch­downs on five straight pos­ses­sions.

The Pan­thers had 30 first downs and were 11 of 14 on third down con­ver­sions.

“We didn’t get off the field when we needed to get off the field, es­pe­cially on third downs,” Dolphins de­fen­sive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.

AP Photo/ Bob Leverone

Carolina Pan­thers’ Cameron Ar­tis-Payne (34) runs for a long gain against the Mi­ami Dolphins in the sec­ond half of an NFL foot­ball game Mon­day in Char­lotte, N.C.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.