PERFECT DAY ON DEFENSE

The Dolphins defense has had good games before in recent years, but Sunday's effort against the New York Jets beat them all in some ways.

The Dolphins establish a set of goal on defense before every game, and Coach Dave Wannstedt said he had never seen his team be able to achieve all of them.

Until Sunday.

The set of goals is as follows:

1) Win the game. Check.

2)Hold the opponent to 17 points or less. Check.

3) Allow the opponent no more than 4.8 yards per play. The Jets averaged 3.6 Check.

4)Allow no more than 3.4 yards per rushing attempt. The Jets averaged 2.6. Check.

5) Allow no more than 5.0 yards per pass play. The Jets averaged 4.2. Check.

6) Record three sacks or more. The Dolphins had three sacks. Check.

7) Record one or more fumble recovery. The Dolphins had one. Check.

8) Record at least 1.25 interception. The Dolphins had three picks. Check.

9) Hold the opponent to no better than 50 percent on third-and-1 situations. The Jets were 1-for-2. Check.

10) Hold the opponent to no better than 50 percent in goal-to-go situations. The Jets were 0-for-1. Check.

11) Stop the opponent on third-and-long at least 65 percent of the time. Check.

"Defensively, it was the first time since I've been here that the defense accomplished every one of their goals," Wannstedt said. "To give up one touchdown in two weeks is a great compliment to the defensive coaches and our players."

Wannstedt decided to award a game ball to the entire defense, which not only held the Jets to 189 total yards but also forced four turnovers — Jason Taylor's fumble recovery, and interceptions by Shawn Wooden, Derrick Rodgers and Brock Marion.

"We're protecting the ball on offense, but we're coming up with plays on defense," Wannstedt said. "And they're not gimme plays, they're all great plays. There were some real bright spots there."

Perhaps more than anything, though, Wannstedt was impressed by the team's tackling, pointing out that poor tackling had been a problem in the losing streak to the Jets.

Wannstedt made the point that the Jets in recent years often caught 4-yard passes that became 10-yard gain after missed tackles, and that's something that did not happen on Sunday.

"The guys really tackled good," Wannstedt said. "Defensively, there was a real sense of urgency to get them on the ground."


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