MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP)Mike McDaniel watched quarterback Daniel Jones scramble as the New York Giants’ offensive line gave up 11 sacks in a loss to Seattle on Monday night.
The Miami Dolphins’ coach understands how easily things could turn around for his team’s next opponent.
“From my perspective, I see an offense that’s close,” McDaniel said Wednesday. “Eleven sacks with the completion percentage that (Daniel Jones) had, it felt like to me when I was watching that it was either completion or sack. Which means the way I see it … the difference between sack and completion is that finite. If you take the sacks out, he’d probably have a pretty high quarterback rating because the completion percentage was high.”
That’s why McDaniel doesn’t expect to easily replicate the Seahawks’ success when Miami (3-1) hosts New York (1-3) on Sunday.
The Dolphins could use a dominant performance from their defense, which has been inconsistent at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and allowed the Bills’ Josh Allen to record a perfect 158.3 passer rating last week.
Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker said the Giants, like any team, can be expected to attack Miami’s weaknesses.
“It’s the National Football League,” Baker said. “They’re going to go back, watch the film and they’re going to be working on it all week. They’re going to make sure they understand what we’re going to do. I’m sure they’re going to fix it. We’re going to have to come up with new things. At the end of the day, it’s about a man beating another man, so we’ll have to do that.”
Both teams dealt with protection issues last week and have injuries along their offensive lines.
Against Buffalo, the Dolphins were without starting center Connor Williams (groin) and lost veteran left tackle Terron Armstead to a knee injury in the second quarter. The result was a season-high four sacks allowed.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hit nine times. McDaniel said part of that was because he abandoned the run game too quickly. He hopes not to repeat that mistake against a Giants defense that ranks 25th against the run.
The Giants are last in scoring with 46 points, and much of that is because of the offensive line, which has been missing star left tackle Andrew Thomas the last three games. The line has started four different combinations and this week may bring a fifth if rookie center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) can’t go. New York has allowed 23 sacks.
Coach Brian Daboll said the Giants’ goal is to play more complementary football.
“Which we haven’t yet,” he added. “That’ll be the focus. It’s always the focus but results haven’t been there.”
NUMBERS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE STORY
The Giants rank 30th in the NFL with 122 points allowed, but not all of that total is the fault of coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense.
Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle combined for 94 points in games the where the Giants’ offense barely did anything, scoring 15 points. The Seahawks got 17 points off three turnovers Monday night, including an interception return for a touchdown by Devon Witherspoon and a 7-yard drive after a strip-sack.
The defense is rounding into form and has a chance to slow down Miami with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux, linebacker Bobby Okereke and safety Xavier McKinney all playing well. The unit has yet to force a turnover.
ON THE RUN
The Dolphins lead the NFL with 707 yards rushing, 6.3 yards per carry and 10 rushing touchdowns – a stark turnaround from a year ago when Miami’s rushing attack was inconsistent. The Dolphins rushed for 142 yards against Buffalo – 101 of those from rookie De’Von Achane, who is ranked seventh in the league in rushing.
The run game has made Miami’s passing attack even tougher to stop.
“It’s been helpful to offset some of the actions that we do in the pass game,” Tagovailoa said, “and then off of those run actions we can marry some of the ways we motion and do our action fakes to some of the pass plays that we have in, so I think it’s been really, really good.”
Dolphins edge rusher Bradley Chubb feels like the defense is almost where it needs to be under new coordinator Vic Fangio.
“A play or two might resort back to old things and not do stuff how we know we can do it,” Chubb said, “and those one or two plays end up hurting us in the long run. That’s when they get their explosive plays. I feel like if we minimize trying to go outside the defense and try to do the next person’s job … I feel like we can take this to a whole other level.”
The Dolphins are allowing 251 yards passing and 29.8 points per game.
AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan in East Rutherford, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
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