The Miami Dolphins allowed more than 21 points just once since November began and held opposing quarterbacks to 3.5 yards per carry through 16 weeks. Coordinator Vic Fangio has the defense rolling — but those trends face a tough test in Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
The AFC North-leading Ravens have scored at least 30 points in seven of nine games — led by Jackson’s 19 passing and five rushing touchdowns — in first-year coordinator Todd Monken’s offense.
“He’s unlike anybody else,” Fangio said of the 2019 MVP. “The only other player that’s been like him in the last 50 years is Michael Vick. He’s a tremendous player. Kudos to Ozzie (Newsome) and Eric (DeCosta) for picking him. Thirty-one other teams that passed him by are kicking themselves.
“He’s really improved over the years. Dynamic with the ball. Good passer. He makes their offense go.”
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott rushed for 25 yards on five carries last weekend, and no team has gotten more than 38 rushing yards from its quarterback against Miami. Jackson, meanwhile, carves opposing defenses for an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
“I mean the pure definition of a great quarterback is there’s no one way to play him,” Fangio said of changing up looks against Jackson. “Because if there was, everybody would do it. So you just have to mix up what you’re doing. Along the way, they have a hell of a run game. There’s a lot to prepare for, a lot to defend in this offense.
“They’ve had a change in the coordinator. They kept the same running game basically and they’re throwing the ball a little differently now. They’ve got the best group of receivers that they’ve had there in a long time.”