Dolphins’ defense dominates, Kenyan Drake shines in win over Broncos

MIAMI GARDENS – The Miami Dolphins’ pass rush and stellar play in the secondary proved to be an integral part of its 35-9 victory over the Broncos on Sunday.

Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian was sacked once by Andre Branch, Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain, and he was constantly under siege throughout the contest. As a result, he completed just 12 passes for 131 yards and two interceptions.

Dolphins’ cornerbacks have been much maligned this season but they were tight in coverage and made completing passes difficult for Siemian difficult even when he had time to throw in the pocket.

Miami’s defense accounted for nine of its 16 points in the first half, scoring the team’s first points on a safety, with Denver backed up in its own territory. The Defense struck again in the second quarter when Xavien Howard intercepted Siemian and raced 30 yards down the field for a touchdown.

The Dolphins performance on defense gave its offense more opportunity to pound the football on the ground at the Broncos defense that was without defensive linemen Domata Peko and Derek Wolfe.

Miami initially had a tough time moving the football on the ground during the first half as Kenyan Drake put up just 55 yards on 14 carries. His 3.9 yards per carry ballooned to 5.2 yards per carry when he exploded for a 42-yard touchdown to give the Dolphins a 26-9 advantage in the third quarter.

The Dolphins again hit pay dirt when Xavien collected his second interception of the day, setting up Jay Cutler’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills to give Miami a 33-9 lead.

The Dolphins would tack on two more points on a safety in the fourth quarter to give them a 35-9 victory to improve to 5-7 on the season.

While the Dolphins are still below .500, coming away with a dominant performance over the Broncos, who boasted the No. 3 defense in the NFL coming into today’s contest could very well be exactly what the Dolphins needed to boost their confidence.

The defense nearly shutout the Broncos’ offense and they ran the football well with Drake who finished the contest with 120 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.

The Dolphins will take its one-game-at-a-time approach into next week and attempt to come away with a win against the AFC East division-leading Patriots on Monday night.

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Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.