The Miami Dolphins entered Monday undefeated, but were unable to keep up with the New Orleans Saints and were given their first loss of the season, 38-17. Making things tough for the Dolphins were four turnovers and four sacks, as the Saints defensive line was able to provide consistent pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
"It's a big concern," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told the media post-game, including the Palm Beach Post. "We got down by 25 points, I believe. In the first half they really hadn't hit Ryan at all. We had a very good running game, we were protecting the quarterback, we were throwing the ball relatively well, we had good balance. Then when we got down 35-10, that's when the onslaught began. 18 sacks (in four games), that's 4 1/2 a game. Too many."
As Philbin said, the problem was not an isolated case of the Saints beating the Dolphins offensive line. Entering Monday night with 14 sacks allowed through three games, the Dolphins have managed to earn victories in spite of poor protection.
Unsurprisingly, Tannehill was more political when asked about the performance of his protectors:
"We've got five guys up front that we're confident in," Tannehill said. "The guys on other side of the ball are (talented) too. We knew that coming in, that they had a good pass rush."
The problem areas for the Dolphins, in particular, have been the offensive tackles: Jonathan Martin and Tyson Clabo. According to Pro Football Focus, the pair was responsible for six quarterback hurries and three of the four sacks on Monday night.