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How could anyone throw for 517 yards vs. Dolphins?

Tom Brady passed for 517 yards against the Dolphins. It is the MOST passing yards the Dolphins have allowed in one game in franchise history, blowing away the 479 yards Ken O'Brien threw for in 1986.

But rather than simply blame the cornerbacks (who were to blame for much of it), one must take a wider view of the debacle situation.

The Dolphins got hardly any pressure on Brady. He was not touched the first quarter. Touched only a couple of times late in the second quarter. Ultimately he was sacked only once. That played a role.

Then there was New England's use of the no-huddle. It took a deep, palpable toll on the Dolphins. On one play, the Miami defense was simply catching its breath and Brady snapped the ball and completed a 9-yard pass to Deion Branch while the unprepared Miami defense chased him.

"When guys come to the line of scrimmage you have got to be ready to play. Period," Kevin Burnett said.

Coach Tony Sparano says the Dolphins knew the Pats would use the no-huddle.

"I mean, we practicied it a ton," he said. "I mean, something we prepared for. I mean, we do it ourselves. We practiced it a bunch, practiced it all week."

Can you imagine if it had taken the Dolphins by surprise? Wow!

Cornerback Benny Sapp was overmatched against bigger, stronger New England tight ends. So was Sean Smith. So was Nolan Carroll. Both Smith and Vontae Davis began to cramp in the fourth quarter. That thrust Carroll into the game for Davis, a moment he was not prepared for because Brady targetted him as if he had a bullseye hanging on his shirt.

Smith's cramp was obvious when he struggled to touch down Aaron Hernandez at the goal line after giving up a 30-yard completion.

"Stats and all that doesn't really matter, doesn't really tell what happened on the field," cornerback Sean Smith said. "We definitely need to go back and watch the film and see what went wrong."

What went wrong was, well, a lot. The Dolphins corners struggled and didn't get a ton of help from safeties, either.

"We just made a lot of mistakes," Reshad Jones said, "and they capitalized on our mistakes."

This was Jones' first start as the winner of the preseason free safety competition with Chris Clemons. Wouldn't be surprised if that competition continues in practice this week.

The Dolphins cut Will Allen on the last cuts. I also wouldn't be surprised if they bring him back because Sapp didn't look quite physical enough to deal with the bigger players and Carroll seemed unable to stick anyone.

 

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