Defense Leading the Charge

As good a story as Joey Harrington getting some revenge in Detroit was, make no mistake about why the Dolphins won their fourth consecutive game. Actually, the victory over Detroit pretty much came the same way as those over Chicago, Kansas City and Minnesota. These days in Miami, it's all about the defense.

The defense, simply put, has been nothing short of awesome since the bye when the streak began with a tremendous victory at Chicago.

The only game where the Dolphins didn't dominate on defense was against Minnesota, and we can tell you to look no further than the absence of nose tackle Keith Traylor as the reason.

Yes, Traylor is that important to the Dolphins. It's like Minnesota. You want to why it's impossible to run against the Vikings? Try huge Pat Williams in the middle of the defensive line.

If you don't believe us, check out Buffalo's defensive numbers before and since they made the stupid decision of letting him walk in free agency.

Anyway, back to the Dolphins.

It's not all about Traylor, who again was a force against the Lions.

We don't need to tell you what Jason Taylor has been doing, and we'll again point out how impressive it was for the Dolphins to get eight sacks against Detroit without Taylor having even one.

Vonnie Holliday has been on fire in recent games, and the same can be said for Kevin Carter as well as Matt Roth, who may have had the best game of his young career against Detroit.

At linebacker, Zach Thomas already has reached 100 tackles for the season, but he has picked up his game big time the last couple of weeks.

In the secondary, we've already addressed the difference Yeremiah Bell has made -- and again, what the hell took Nick Saban so long to get this guy in the starting lineup? -- and the play of the cornerbacks also has picked up.

In that vein, we'll nominate Andre' Goodman as unsung player of the year for the Dolphins. Watch this guy sometime, he has had a terrific season at cornerback for the Dolphins.

Thanks to this tremendous stretch, the Dolphins now rank in the top 5 in total defense. Of course, someone might say that in those four games the quarterbacks they have faced have been Rex Grossman, Damon Huard, Brad Johnson and Jon Kitna.

Look, none of them is a Pro Bowl guy, but none of them are A.J. Feeley, either. Anyway, we'll find out more in two weeks when Tom Brady comes to town.

It says here if the Dolphins lose it won't be because Brady lights up the Dolphins defense.

The Dolphins has been making steady progress in recent weeks, and what saw in Detroit what will happen when both sides of the ball are clicking.

The defense has done its part most of the season, and particularly lately now that the breakdowns have pretty much been eliminated.

So when you're talking about the Dolphins and perhaps playing their way into playoff contention, don't kid yourself: It's the defense that would get them there.


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