No Answers For Brady

The good news Monday night was the performance of Chad Henne, who indeed looked good enough to be the kind of quarterback who can lead the Dolphins to the playoffs. The bad news was the defense, which looked like it belonged on a cellar dweller, not a playoff team. So what happened?

If you want to put the blame on somebody on defense, you have a lot of options.

The defensive line didn't do a good job against the New England running game and didn't put the Patriots in tough down-and-distance situations.

The linebackers didn't make any plays and had problems in coverage. Yes, Cameron Wake got a sack, but his pressure was sporadic and nobody else, except for Randy Starks on one play, ever got close to Tom Brady.

The secondary? Yikes.

Vontae Davis and Sean Smith both got beat ... when they weren't dealing with cramping issues. Nolan Carroll continued his mediocre work after a very tough preseason.

Benny Sapp made a great play when his coverage led to the Brady pass that was picked off by Jared Odrick, but then he got burned by Wes Welker for that game-clinching 99-yard touchdown.

Mind you, the Dolphins defenders talked in the preseason of taking the next step and becoming one of the elite defenses in the league. Well, elite defenses don't give up 611 yards to the opponent.

This was baffling, really. Yes, Brady is a phenomenal quarterback and he was on his game, but even then the defense should have been able to offer some resistance.

While it's too early to panic, there were some troubling signs in this game. The one that bothers us the most is the lack of pressure because coming in we were concerned about the fact that the pass rush consists of Cameron Wake and little else.

Nothing that happened against New England changed that. Koa Misi hasn't shown in his first 17 games that he's much of a pass rusher and Jason Taylor was invisible against the Patriots, other than when he had to leave the game after twisting his ankle.

Taylor was able to return, which was good news, but we have seen no indication this summer that he's still capable of making an impact.

Again, this was only one game, so it's way too early to write off Taylor — or the Dolphins defense as a whole.

This was just a really disappointing way to start. It's almost funny to think now that the big concern heading into this game was whether Henne could make any plays and whether the offensive line could hold up.

Now there's something else to worry about as the Houston Texans prepare to come to town.


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