Miami’s 39-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns was the largest point differential for coach Mike McDaniel and company in a win this season.
Additionally, it was the fourth time this year that the Dolphins allowed less than 20 points. However, last Sunday’s win over Cleveland changed the tone for a defense that had allowed at least 24 points in the five previous games.
Miami is 22nd in the league with an average of 24 points allowed per game, but the defense, which allows just 15 points per game at home, looks to be headed in the right direction, according to defensive coordinator Josh Boyer.
“I think we’re still evolving,” Boyer said when meeting with the media on Monday. “I don’t think we’ve played our best ball yet, and I think we’re getting closer and closer to that. I think it’s all situational. There are things that we’ve done well on early downs, and there are some things that we can improve. I think third down is something that we’ll continue to work on and get better at. Two-minute situations, sometimes things don’t come up in games, but there’s things that you put work in, because you never know when they will. Sometimes they can be the biggest situations in the game.
“The common theme has been that our players have welcomed adversity. They have not changed. They have not wavered. Their work ethic, the time that they put into it outside of what’s required of them, has been pretty impressive. I think those guys have done a pretty good job, and we’re all continuing to try to get better.”
Miami’s front seven dominated the Browns, sacking quarterback Jacoby Brissett three times and getting to him for a total of 14 quarterback hits.
“I think we had some good individual rushes,” Boyer said of the game against Cleveland. “I think we had some good games in there. We were able to play with the lead for a little bit, that kind of got them into certain situations where we knew it was pass. I think there were more opportunities out there where we were able to marry the coverage with the rush. Sometimes, it’s a coverage thing that helps the rush, and sometimes, it’s a rush thing that helps the coverage.
“There’s a lot of variables that go into it. Obviously, it’s – we’ve kind of talked about this from week to week, but again, it’s a striving thing for us to just continually build and get better as we’re moving forward.”
The Dolphins look to keep the momentum going this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium against a Houston Texans team that allows quarterback David Mills to be sacked 2.8 times per game. Houston, which is No. 30 with an average of 16 points scored per game, has allowed an average of four sacks per game over the last three weeks.