Dolphins 26, Broncos 17
The Dolphins have pulled it off again. This time with a victory over the Broncos at Denver's Invesco Field. How much more improbable can this season get? The local beat writers are starting to use the P word. Fans are looking at the next two games and figuring this team will be 6-4 in a couple of weeks. All of a sudden, the playoffs (there I go using the P word as well) don't seem out of the question.
The Dolphins secondary has come to life, intercepting three Jay Cutler passes and shutting down future All-Pro Brandon Marshall, holding him to just 2 catches for 27 yards. The transformation for this secondary since Jason Allen came into the cornerback rotation has been nothing short of astonishing. All of a sudden, Will Allen is picking off passes and returning them for touchdowns. All of a sudden, Andre Goodman is doing his best impersonation of another player who wore 21, and shutting down his half of the field. All of a sudden, Jason Allen is breaking up passes at critical junctures in the 4th quarter. Two weeks ago, no one was saying these things about our secondary.
All of a sudden, the Miami Dolphins run defense completely shuts down what has been a fairly effective running game when actually utilized. The Broncos were averaging 4.6 yards per carry before facing the Dolphins.
Against the Dolphins, they only managed 14 yards on the ground.
The Dolphins offense also managed to hold onto the ball for over 36 minutes. They were able to move the ball using the short passing game to substitute for a running game that seems to have disappeared. But hey, it's working. The Dolphins offense controlled the ball, kept the defense fresh, and by the end of the 4th quarter, had the Broncos defense so worn out that they could do nothing to stop the Dolphins offensive attack.
Aside from the sputtering running game, another concern has to continue to be special teams. The 95-yard return by Brandon Marshall was inexcusable. The coverage teams need work. But kudos to Miami kicker Dan Carpenter, who hit 4 out of 4 field goals. One for 45 yards and another for 47.
All in all, another satisfying day for Dolphins fans. Their team is sitting at 4-4 and the memory of 1-15 is all but erased.