Previewing The Miami Dolphins Defense

The Miami Dolphins will be looking to carry over their top-10 defensive performance from last season when they face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
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While the Miami Dolphins offense came into the season looking to prove itself, their defense didn't have such questions. 

That's because they finished last season ranked as the sixth-best scoring defense in the league, giving up only a little over 21 points per game. 

It's an impressive job that Miami head coach Brian Flores has done in short order, as the Dolphins had the last-ranked defense in the league in 2019. 

A big reason for that improvement was that Miami ranked first in opponent turnovers, forcing 29 last season. 

Of those, 10 were interceptions from cornerback Xavien Howard, who was Miami's lone Pro Bowl pick last year and also a First-Team All-Pro. 

Howard forms one of the best cornerback duos in the league with former Pro Bowl corner Byron Jones. 

Along with veteran safeties like Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty, along with recent draft picks like Jevon Holland, Miami's primary defensive strength comes from its secondary. 

That doesn't mean they don't have any difference-makers at the other levels of their defense, though. 

Jerome Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Brennan Scarlett make up the most of a versatile linebacking corps that can also get after the passer. 

It does well to support a defensive line that features pass rushers Emmanuel Ogbah and Jaelan Phillips, and an inside presence with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.  

It all adds up to what should be a formidable defense, which is what the Dolphins had last season. 

They are coming off giving up 35 points to the Buffalo Bills, showing that they aren't at all infallible. 

The Raiders have already beaten two defenses that were top-five last season, and they should have their opportunities facing the Dolphins.

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