Underrated – “And it feels so good”

The Dolphins defensive line is definitely an underrated unit in the NFL, by fans (including myself), by NFL talking heads, and of course by own local beat writers. It’s more than just the 3 guys pictured above, it’s the depth of the unit. Add in one of the best rotational DL in the NFL in Brandon Sieler, and backup NT John Jenkins and backup DE Adam Butler and it truly is a complete unit. It’s not the flashiest unit, and more than likely most NFL fans don’t know the front 3 pictured above by name. Emmanuel Ogbah has been about as steady as they come. He gets pressure so often, including 2 seasons ago when he had inadequate pressure coming from anywhere else. In 2020, Ogbah had 9 sacks and 21 QB hits, the team totaled 41 sacks. In 2021, Ogbah once again totaled 9 sacks and added 24 QB hits, the team though totaled 48 sacks. Christian Wilkins is an invisible elite player. Wilkins last season finished with 89 tackles (2nd on the team behind #55), 4.5 sacks and 13 QB hits. Raekwon Davis played injured most of last season but I have so much optimism that he will have a really nice season provided he stays healthy.

It’s not just the DL that’s underrated, it’s the entire defense. I’ll be the first to admit that I feel and have said so many times that for once I would like the defense to play like a championship defense and just shut down the other team, like our team gets shut down so often, especially when playing our own division rival Buffalo Bills. The problem is, the Bills just have a great offense, and Josh Allen gives them that running threat that we so often struggle with, while our own offense has been far from a juggernaut. The Bills averaged 28.5 PPG last season, good for 3rd in the NFL. No easy task to stop them, but 2 teams in particular shut them down, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills were somewhat flat on opening day in Pittsburgh, only scoring 16 points. They won the TOP battle 33:17 – 26:43 and only lost the turnover battle 1-0. They had more yardage on the ground and especially in the air but couldn’t out the ball in the endzone. The 9-6 loss to the Jaguars was an aberration. Or was it? The jaguars stifled the run game, held both Singletary and Allen in check, sacked Allen 4 times and ran the ball themselves 27 times, for only 70 yards. They turned the Bills over 3 times. This is the kind of effort I’d love to see just once (or twice?) from our defense against the Bills.

OK, here’s the good news. I think there’s every reason to expect more from this defensive unit. This is a defense on the rise. Rookie OLB/DE Jaelan Phillips exploded toward the end of the season. He should be as good or better than that player was last season. We added an athletic inside LB in the draft, Channing Tindall who should help not only with Bills QB Josh Allen, but he can cover and will free up #55 Jerome Baker to create more havoc. AVG is still a player on the rise and I expect better things from as well this season. Did I mention we signed Melvin Ingram? Depth is better, Elandon Roberts is still a nice 1 or 2 down thumper in the middle, but Tindall gives them the speed and athleticism we’ve needed. We have the 2 veteran cover corners in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Both are excellent cover guys but X is clearly the playmaker, imposing his will on games so often. It’s not just INT’s, he creates forced fumbles and just has a knack for finding that football. The safeties are quite the trio, and underrated once again comes to mind. Jevon Holland had an excellent rookie season, and SS Brandon Jones seems to be becoming a full time starter and combines great tackling with strong blitzing abilities. Jones had 5 sacks last season and had the 3rd most tackles on the team, behind Wilkins and Baker.

Depth, depth, depth. Sieler, Jenkins, Butler. Ingram, Tindall, Eguavoen and Riley. Needham, Rowe, Igbinoghene. Is it possible we actually see the emergence of former 1st RD pick Noah Igbinoghene? He’s been showing up in camp, and it would be great for the talented young player to finally make it in the NFL. Nik Needham is one of my favorite Dolphins players, a guy who plays above his head all the time, max effort guy who does whatever the coaches ask. We basically brought last year’s defense back intact. We added a nice rookie LB (Channing Tindall) and a nice veteran LB/DE (Melvin Ingram). Once again, this is an ascending unit. If the offense can hold up their end of the bargain, be more balanced and be able to keep opposing defenses on the field longer, just imagine how much better our defense can be? All this remains to be seen, but it’s hard not to be optimistic that it can be so.



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690 Responses to Underrated – “And it feels so good”

  1. steveccnv says:


    Someone posted this above, while I can see the point the writer is trying to make, he falls way short in his assumption

    He acknowledges that Wilson will benefit from playing with Hill, Waddle, and Gesicki, but his premise, that Wilson might be the best addition is ridiculous, because he’s saying he’s going to live off of the coattails of others, but is better addition

    What would Duper have been without Marino?

    Alvin Harper without Michael Irvin?

    Beasley in Buffalo without Diggs and Allen?

    • Krishna says:

      I posted and commented on it, as well. Trying to talk football…lol.

      I think Rock made a great point about the FA signings at RB….

  2. Mike E. says:

    Ken – Not to belabor the topic, but I don’t think the average American, or maybe I should say the “below average American” knows enough to discern or glean what is biased or unbiased. I wholeheartedly believe that there are enough people out there turn on the boob tube and take whatever is being reported to them as gospel without even the slightest amount of either disbelief or concern about whether it may or may not be slanted with bias. In that regard, if in a Presidential election, a town hall interview is being broadcast to many millions of people, and that broadcast is skewed to favor a certain political side, that’s a huge issue, it really is. There was no option to view that on a different station, they had a captive audience, and took full advantage of that fact.

    Thomas Jefferson knew the deal, he made that abundantly clear.

    “… the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

    I’m sure Jefferson would have had more issues with TV news broadcasts, especially in its current form.

    • Krishna says:

      Kinda why I’ve gone into my cave….nice…regarding the Jefferson quote.

      I look up and think, wtf? Lol.

    • Ken says:

      I think the problem is that people rely more on information from the web, specifically from web sites that support their individual points of view. This leads to insular thinking where people only rely on information they agree. MSM is by no means perfect but it is better than the various cultures of insular that has developed on the web

      • Mike E. says:

        The internet is the bane of all evil. No question about that, but turning on the boob tube requires less effort, and is basically an American staple. Generations of people trusted “The News” as their primary source of information, and the current iteration of MSM news takes full advantage of that. As much as I hate Fox News channel, sometimes I tune in just to get a different perspective, even if that perspective is biased to the point where I can’t believe it either. Today’s news is not Walter Cronkite simply stating what happened, it’s a major spin each and every night. I despise it.

      • steveccnv says:

        Nothing MSM reports as news is true, not sure how it can be better than the web

        I think where people get their news is like brackish water, you have the oldest people as the ocean, and the youngest as the river, and as you go from the ocean to the lagoon and the river to the lagoon you get some mix

        The older you are the more likely you are to watch MSM and the younger you are the more likely you are to get news from web

  3. Krishna says:

    I can’t imagine what he said in the article as I’m not going to pay for his opinion….lol…but I am curious if someone can share and provide all the credits….

    Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel [Open in Separate Window] [All Articles]
    News Article Omar Kelly: Ten reasons Dolphins should be playoff-bound in 2022

    • steveccnv says:

      Waddle came from Alabama and was the guy Defenses paid the most attention to, in Miami nothing changed

      Having Hill will allow Waddle to play with less attention given to him, he’s got to be exuberant like the dog in the cartoon that saw the forest for the first time

      With that said, our O is better for sure, to live up to being rated #3 yeah they need to show us

  4. Mike E. says:

    NEW BLOG UP!!! New Author, some different content. Hope y’all enjoy!

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