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The dual assault on Dan Marino's season yards record

The same week the Dolphins' legacy fended off an assault on the franchise's most treasured mark ever -- the perfect season -- with the loss by the last undefeated team of the year, there is another mark that is very much at risk.

In 1984, fresh-faced quarterback Dan Marino proved just how deadly prolific he could be when he threw for an NFL record 5,084 yards in a single season.

Now, 27 seasons later, not one but two quarterbacks are within reach of breaking that record.

Drew Brees has thrown for 4,780 yards so far this season. With two games to play he needs only 305 passing yards to break Marino's mark.

Tom Brady has thrown for 4,593 passing yards. He needs only 492 yards the final two games of the season to surpass Marino. As it currently stands, Brady is on pace to finish with 5,094 yards.

On the Brady front, the Dolphins can do something to slow him down and that would be fitting because they turbocharged his reach for the record in the season opener when Brady lit up the Miami defense for 517 yards.

That season-opening fiasco against Brady put the Miami pass defense in a tremendous hole. It made them the 32nd ranked pass defense for nearly a month. They have since climbed out of the hole but aren't exactly considered impenetrable. The Dolphins are today 25th in the NFL against the pass, having allowed 3,466 passing yards or 248 passing yards per game.

So the cause of not allowing Brady to surpass Marino's and avenging that earlier embarrassment is one the Dolphins might like to take up.

(Sidenote: This year it has felt like the Miami pass defense is better than last year. The Dolphins certainly have more interceptions as the 11 since the Nov. 6 game at K.C. are the most in the AFC. Coaches are also more satisfied with the relatively low number of chuck plays yielded. But the fact is this last year's pass defense was No. 8 in the NFL. Miami gave up only 209 passing yards per game in 2010. So much for how things feel.)

Me? I wish the Dolphins wouldn't play so much zone. Their cornerbacks -- Vontae Davis and Sean Smith seem more comfortable playing man in general and man-press in particular. Yet coaches continue to defer to the zone and it has been toasted at times -- as in the fourth quarter against Buffalo last week.

But I digress.

As to the pass record, the Dolphins can't do anything about Brees trying to rewrite the record. Miami doesn't play New Orleans this season and obviously not in the final two games.

And no ... I am not going to mention that Brees might have been a Dolphin. That's been written a couple of times already.

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