There’s been a lot of great coverage around the internet this week about how the Miami Dolphins used Cover-0 pressure to force four first half turnovers by LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff on Sunday. Here’s what TouchdownWire had to say about it:
Cover-0 is not something Goff had seen a lot this season. But in 2019, he completed 7 of 16 passes for 71 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions against Cover-0. That said, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator Josh Boyer decided to throw more of it right at Goff, and it turned out beautifully — in the Dolphins’ 28-17 win, Goff completed just 35 of 61 passes for 355 yards, one touchdown in garbage time, two back-breaking interceptions, and two lost fumbles — one of which was returned for a touchdown. In the first half, when Miami brought most of its pressure, Goff completed 15 of 32 passes for 136 yards, no touchdowns, both of those picks, and a passer rating of 32.8.
As edge-rusher Emmanuel Ogbah, who caused the fumble that led to linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel’s 78-yard return, said, “The key to this game was attack Jared Goff.”
Rams head coach Sean McVay responded to his team being caught off guard by Miami’s defense and Brian Flores’ gameplan for the Dolphins.
“They were bringing zero pressures,” McVay said. “We had some answer. We didn’t execute them, and ultimately, the answers were not good enough on my part. That falls on me… we were not in alignment, and the communication wasn’t on par with what the expectations were with how we execute those plays…. those situations never allowed us to get into rhythm.”
The Dolphins now rank first in the NFL in points allowed per game. After seven games last season, Miami was 0-7 and considered one of the worst rosters in NFL history.
Dolphins gave up 133 points through three weeks in 2019. They've given up 130 through seven games in 2020 and rank first in points allowed per game.— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) November 3, 2020
Miami sent a blitz at Goff 30 times, which is the second-most he’s faced since 2018, the first season that Pro-Football-Reference has been tracking that stat. The only time he saw more was in last season’s 55-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Goff was blitzed 36 times and threw 68 passes.
Goff threw 61 passes against the Dolphins.
There were three instances of Goff being blitzed 23 times in 2019: the 30-29 loss to the Seahawks, the 45-6 loss to the Ravens and the 31-24 win over the Cardinals. Arizona sent 23 blitzes but only managed two pressures. Miami pressured Goff nine times and the Bucs pressured him 20 times in their win last season.
Goff also had four turnovers in that game.
What will the Seattle Seahawks try to do to slow down LA’s offense in two weeks? The Seahawks haven’t had Jamal Adams for the last four games but he will be back in time for the Rams game; Adams had 31 blitzes in less than three games and since then inside linebacker Bobby Wagner has taken over those responsibilities for the most part.
With a 1-4 record in these five games, the pressure is definitely on.