Defenseless Again

All things considered, Cleo Lemon had a pretty successful start at quarterback for the Dolphins Sunday at Cleveland, but there wasn't much he could do about another disastrous defensive performance. The result was a 41-31 loss to the Browns that dropped the Dolphins to 0-6 on the season.

The Dolphins defense has been alternately bad against the run and the pass this season, but against the Browns it was bad against both.

With Jamal Lewis sitting out because of a foot injury, the Browns rushed for 140 yards against the Dolphins, and Derek Anderson threw three touchdown passes to Braylon Edwards, who got some revenge on the team that told him it would select him in the 2005 draft before going with Ronnie Brown.

Speaking of Brown, he had yet another strong performance, rushing for 101 yards and catching nine passes for 69 more. It was Brown's fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing effort.

As for Lemon, he scored on two touchdown runs and also threw two touchdown passes, both to tight end David Martin.

The Dolphins battled back from a 24-3 deficit to make it a game at 27-24, but the defense never could slow down the Cleveland offense.

After Lemon's 1-yard sneak made it 27-24 late in the third quarter, Cleveland came back with a 12-yard, 66-yard drive that culminated with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to Edwards.

The Dolphins went three-and-out on their next series, and Cleveland put the game away with another drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Edwards.

In addition to bad defense, key penalties also helped put the Dolphins in their early hole -- along with a shaky start by Lemon.

The Dolphins had four penalties on special teams, including an unnecessary roughness on kicker Jay Feely on the opening kickoff and a holding penalty on Derek Hagan that nullified a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr.

Ginn also had a 56-yard kickoff return wiped out by a penalty, that on rookie free agent Courtney Bryan.

But the main culprit in this game was a defense that looks nothing like the unit we expected.

Jason Taylor made a couple of big plays -- a sack, and later a strip of running back Jason Wright along with a recovery of the fumble.

But overall, it was another bad, bad day on defense and why the Dolphins fell to 0-6. And after this performance on defense, it's scary to think the next opponent will be the New England Patriots.


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