Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins’ snap counts revealing on Wake, Williams, other issues

Miami Dolphins’ Cameron Wake smiles as he leaves the field after the Fins defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016.
Miami Dolphins’ Cameron Wake smiles as he leaves the field after the Fins defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016.

The Dolphins’ final snap counts from their 30-15 win against Pittsburgh revealed what the naked eye suggested: Cam Wake played a lot more on Sunday. And Mario Williams played a lot less.

After playing fewer than 20 snaps twice in the first five games, Wake was on the field for 41 of Miami’s 55 defensive snaps on Sunday. He started opposite Andre Branch, who played 44.

Wake had half a sack Sunday; Branch had 1.5 sacks and another negated by a Jason Jones penalty.

Meanwhile, the snap counts for Williams and Jason Jones plummeted.

Williams, who had played well over half the snaps in each of the first five games, logged only 13. Jones played only 23.

Among defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh played 48 of the 55, Jordan Phillips 35, Chris Jones 14 and Leon Orr 1.

Among linebackers, Kiko Alonso played all 55, Jelani Jenkins 37, Donald Butler 15, Neville Hewitt 15 and Spencer Paysinger 4.

At cornerback, Byron Maxwell played 53, Tony Lippett 41, Chimdi Chekwa 15. Bobby McCain played 40 snaps and continues to play well.

• The Dolphins entered Sunday with 102 fewer offensive plays than its opponent. But on Sunday, Miami had 70 plays and the Steelers only 55.

• Jay Ajayi, who had only the fourth 200 yard rushing game ever by a Miami back (including playoffs), played 48 of the 70 snaps. Damien Williams had 12, Arian Foster 11 and Kenyan Drake 1.

• Adam Gase didn’t use rookie receivers Leonte Carroo or Jakeem Grant at all on offense. Jarvis Landry played 64 of the 70 snaps, DeVante Parker 60 and Kenny Stills 54.

• Good work by the Dolphins cornerbacks, according to PFF: “Byron Maxwell was targeted eight times and gave up four catches, but for only 29 total yards, while knocking away four passes. Five of those targets came when covering Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown, and he allowed three catches for just 23 yards.

“We also saw positive progress from WR-to-CB convert Tony Lippett, after the Dolphins lost promising 2016 second-round rookie CB Xavien Howard for about a month to a meniscus tear. Lippett aptly stepped into the role to limit Pittsburgh receivers to three completions, with an average of five yards on seven targets.”

• Not only wasn’t Ryan Tannehill sacked Sunday, but the offensive line allowed pressure on just five of his 32 dropbacks, but he completed four of five throws when the Steelers’ pass rush did get to him, for 73 yards.

• The Dolphins don’t have an interception by a cornerback this season, but they have three by safeties: two by Isa Abdul Quddus and one by Reshad Jones.

• While Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of the Dolphins: “They’re a good football team, really good football players,” Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell said: “Obviously, this is a team we know we should've beat. Even if we did lose, we shouldn't lose in the fashion the way we did. "I don't think they did anything special. I just think we were shooting ourselves in the foot. I don't really know what it was. You have to give the credit to the defensive line. The defensive line did a good job of pressuring us. But I don't think it was anything special they did.”

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