Week 4 Game Ball: Jared Odrick

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few, and I mean few, bright spots in Miami's 38-17 Monday night beating at the hands of the New Orleans Saints was the performance of the defensive line against the run, led by defensive tackle Jared Odrick. He receives the game ball for Week 4.

The New Orleans offense did nearly everything they wanted to against a bewildered Miami defense, except run the ball. For many years, the Dolphins have been able hang their hat on being solid defending the run while the team lost because of every other area.

In Week 4, they returned to their roots.

The Dolphins' defense hemorrhaged passing yards and points, while the offense failed to muster a response. But, New Orleans only managed 64 yards on 24 rushing attempts, or just 2.8 yards per carry. Sure, a lot of that was late in the game when everyone knew they'd pound the ball to kill the clock, but the Saints had trouble with Miami's defensive line from the beginning.

The best performer on that line was Jared Odrick (with a very honorable mention to the playing-while-hurt Paul Soliai), whose penetration and tackles in the backfield helped convince the Saints to give up on the run early on and just focus on shredding Miami with the pass.

Odrick single-handedly stuffed two particular runs in the first quarter, rendering Saints' guards Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans powerless to stop him on his way to the ball-carrier.

Here's a replay of one of those tackles:


Odrick is becoming a force on the inside of the line, nearly on the level of Soliai or Randy Starks. (Full disclosure: count me among those who thought he wouldn't reach that level.)

Among Odrick's other good deeds on Monday were a second quarter sack that killed a Saints drive and running down a screen pass before it got back to the line of scrimmage.

All player data is courtesy of Pro Football Focus and all contract info is courtesy of OverTheCap.com.

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