DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Ndamukong Suh’s mother watched his most recent game on TV and didn’t like what she saw — or heard.
There wasn’t much to admire about the Miami Dolphins’ 33-17 loss at Buffalo. They gave up 266 yards rushing and became the first team ever to allow two 100-yard rushers and a 150-yard receiver in the same game, according to STATS.
What upset Mom most, however, was Suh’s language. He became angry when a referee’s ruling cost him a sack, and Suh’s profanity was audible to the crowd because it was accidentally captured by the official’s microphone.
"I did hear from her about it," Suh said Wednesday with a sheepish smile. "I owe my mother an apology for swearing on TV and in public. So I’m sorry, Mother."
But when it comes to the Dolphins being sorry, nothing rivals their run defense. They gave up 7.4 yards per rush against the Bills, who threw only 12 times.
"They were able to take certain guys out of the play and get what they wanted," Suh said.
He has been double-teamed all season, and teammates haven’t taken advantage of one-on-one matchups. As a result, Miami’s run defense ranks next to last in the NFL, ahead of only Cleveland, allowing 142 yards per game.
The previous time the Dolphins were so bad against the ground game was in 2007, when they finished 1-15. Poor run defense is perhaps the biggest reason they’re a disappointing 3-5 heading into Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.
Miami’s soft up front despite the presence of Suh, a three-time All-Pro tackle and the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. The Dolphins signed him to a $114 million, six-year contract after he helped Detroit lead the league in run defense last season.
This season the Lions rank 30th without him. The Dolphins rank 31st with him.
Miami’s woeful run defense is a collective issue, interim coach Dan Campbell said. But that collective doesn’t include Suh.
"He has done a good job," Campbell said. "He has made an impact in the middle. They’re trying to double him and trap him and do the things they can to try to take him out. … You feel him during the game. He is making plays. He’s somebody they have to account for."
Count on the Eagles to do that when they hand off to DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.
"Philly has two great running backs," Suh said. "I’ve seen them both. Obviously I’ve been able to stop both of them."
The Eagles rank 10th in rushing, and they’re certain to test the Dolphins’ run defense, because everybody does. Teams are running the ball 31.5 times per game against Miami, most in NFL, in part because the Dolphins have fallen behind early in most of their games.
Miami’s offense recognizes that getting an early lead would discourage opponents from running so much.
"We’ve got to make sure we don’t have three-and-outs and put pressure on the defense," center Mike Pouncey said.
That approach worked when Campbell first took over a month ago. Before the Buffalo loss, Miami held three consecutive opponents below 100 yards rushing.
Suh remains confident the Dolphins have the ability to clamp down on their run defense.
"We’ve proven that," Suh said. "We’ve just got to execute on a consistent basis."