The Miami Dolphins’ defensive line stops the run, pressures the quarterback and even grabs an occasional interception. Stout stuff up front gives the Dolphins cause for optimism as they enter the most inviting part of their schedule. Coming off a breakthrough win, Miami (2-3) is an opening-line favorite for the first time this season Sunday against the St. Louis Rams (3-2), and no other game against a team with a winning record looms until after Thanksgiving.
If the Dolphins are to climb above .500 — an elusive goal in recent years — they’ll likely do it with defense. Miami is the NFL’s stingiest team in rushing yards allowed per game (61) and per carry (2.7), and by forcing opponents to throw, the Dolphins are accomplishing coach Joe Philbin’s goal of making the other team one-dimensional.
“To a large degree we’re getting that done,” Philbin said Monday. “We’re getting the run shut down well and getting favorable down and distance where we can tee it up and go after the quarterback a little bit. That’s only going to help us as we move forward.
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