This post is sponsored by XFINITY from Comcast.
Despite their mediocre record, the Dolphins have been among the better teams in the league in both red zone offense and defense. And despite their ugly loss on Monday night, the Dolphins were again solid in the red zone on both offense and defense.
Offensive, the Dolphins ran just one play inside New England's 20 yard line - a 19 yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Davone Bess. Henne's pass was placed absolutely perfect, allowing Davone to catch and turn it up the field and hit "paydirt."
The Dolphins are now converting on 63% of their red zone trips - good for 8th in the league. The problem, of course, is that the team has reached the red zone just eight times in four games. But that's a topic for another time.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins held the Patriots to two touchdowns in four trips. That's not an overly impressive figure, of course. But by holding the Patriots to field goals on their first two red zone trips on Monday night, the defense was good enough to hold Miami's first-half lead despite just seven points from the offense.
The second half was a different story. I won't sit here and say I blame the defense for the loss. That wouldn't be fair. But they did let BenJarvis Green-Ellis gain fifteen yards on two plays following the blocked punt, giving New England a 20-7 lead. Following a Miami touchdown to cut the deficit, the defense again collapsed in the red zone - surrendering a touchdown pass underneath to Danny Woodhead on a 3rd down.
On the season, the Dolphins are holding opponents to a 42% conversion rate in the red zone - which is currently 9th best in the league.