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News » Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-09-30


Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-09-30


Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-09-30
The Chargers' high-powered offense presents quite a challenge to the Dolphins defense, which is coming off its best game of the season in a 38-13 rout of the once-mighty Patriots.


The secondary, which gave up five touchdown passes, including two longer than 50 yards, in the first two games, held the Tom Brady-less Patriots to 156 yards and no big plays in Game 3. But cornerbacks Andre' Goodman and Will Allen know that Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers leads the NFL with 10 touchdown passes and is second in the league with a 101.8 passer rating. Old friend Chris Chambers had eight catches but four touchdowns, while perennial Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates has three touchdowns, including a 9-yarder in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 28-18 comeback win over the Raiders.

Also, star running back LaDainian Tomlinson came alive in the second half Sunday with TD runs of 13 and 41. Tomlinson also is one of the best halfback passers of all time, and he must be watched carefully or else the Dolphins could get burned by the same play that they used to beat the Patriots when running back Ronnie Brown took the direct shotgun snap and hit tight end Anthony Fasano with a 19-yard TD. Tomlinson is 8-for-11 career with seven TDs and no picks for a 154.4 passer rating.

"It's a hard deal to prepare for (Tomlinson) because if he gets an inch, he can go the distance," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "All of a sudden you start to crowd the box a little bit and you get people flying to the ball because you know you need to tackle this guy and then he throws it over your head. We have to be disciplined in the back end of the coverage without a doubt."

The Dolphins know they must put pressure on Rivers. They have nine sacks in three games, including four by resurgent outside linebacker Joey Porter. Last year they didn't notch nine sacks until seven games were played.

"Defensively, it's one of the games that you love because it's a great offense," Dolphins inside linebacker Akin Ayodele said. "They've got great athletes and great players with LaDainian with Gates. They've got a very good O-line, and it's similar because they know what kind of defense we run because they run a similar defense. So for us it's going to be mano a mano, pride, your man versus mine and let's see who can whoop up on each other."

With most of the attention on Brown and the "Wildcat" formation, Sparano was pretty proud that his defense held the Patriots to 4-for-15 on third downs, registered four sacks and held them to 79 rushing yards (without Laurence Maroney).

"That was really important, I think. I think that the defense played very, very well," Sparano said. "Again, I said after the game I thought that the game plan was executed really well. I meant both sides of the ball. Certainly, I thought, defensively, we executed really well. What we didn't want to do was allow big plays; we didn't allow big plays."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 30, 2008

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Ricky Williams Name: Ricky Williams
#34
Position: RB
Age: 31
Experience: 7 years
College: Texas
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