Thursday, November 12, 2009
Fins among NFL's worst in allowing quick scores
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The Miami Dolphins work incredibly hard to gain yards, to consume time off the clock, to get ahead of their opponents.
They know how to grind.
Then their defense gives up a quick, crippling score.
Summary strikes have been an all-too common occurrence for the Dolphins' defense this season. They're tied for fifth in allowing touchdown drives of six plays or fewer. They have surrendered 13 of them.
In Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, the Dolphins opened the second half with a 16-play touchdown drive to take a one-point lead. Three plays later, Randy Moss stiff-armed Vontae Davis and sprinted off for a 71-yard touchdown that won the game.
In Week 2, the Dolphins held the ball for more than 45 minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins took two fourth-quarter leads on drives of 13 plays and 10 plays. The Colts, who started the game with a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage, responded with touchdowns on six plays and four plays.
Only once have the Dolphins not yielded a touchdown in six plays or fewer, in a Week 4 blowout of the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins gave up three apiece to the Colts and the New York Jets in Week 7.
To get an idea of where the Dolphins stand, ESPN Stats & Information investigator Matt Lyon ran the data. Here are the worst 10 teams in allowing touchdowns so quickly:
Not a lot of playoff teams in that bunch.
On the flip side, only two teams have given up fewer of these touchdown drives than the Jets and Patriots -- four each. The Colts and Denver Broncos are best with one apiece.
The Bills are tied for 15th with eight touchdowns allowed in six or fewer plays.