On Sunday even though the Dolphins moved the football effectively at times, more often than not they failed to convert on third down. Buffalo’s third down defense has been far from spectacular this season, but against Miami it showed significant improvement.
The Dolphins managed just three conversions on 13 chances for a 23 percent success rate. Only their Week 4 performance against Baltimore (3-16, 19%) was better this season. Perhaps even more important they kept the yardage that Miami did gain on their third downs to a minimum.
First and foremost Miami went 0-for-7 on third downs in the first half of the game. Their first conversion on third down did not come until the a 3rd-and-1 with 11:33 left in the third quarter.
On their three conversions two came on runs of two and 16 yards. Their only other conversion was the four-yard touchdown catch on 3rd-and-goal from the four-yard line by Brandon Gibson.
Head coach Doug Marrone had some other impressive figures concerning Buffalo’s third down defense in the game.
“On defense Miami was outstanding coming into the game on 3rd-and-6 to nine. They were converting 57 percent and our defense held them to zero percent,” he said. “That was a big improvement from what we had been doing. On 3rd-and-10 plus we hadn’t done as good of a job and we held them to zero percent there too.
“Third down we created two interceptions, and overall third down for the game we gave up a total of 21 yards. Those two things were the keys for us to win the game.”
Miami passed on 11 of their 13 third down attempts. Five were incomplete passes. Four were completed, but two went for negative yardage. The Dolphins had three net passing yards on third down Sunday.
Since Week 1 Buffalo’s third down defense has improved from 30th in the league to 16th.
Tags: Doug Marrone, third down defense
Posted in Inside the Bills