These plays include two interceptions by Jason Allen, and on the contrast, a fumble a piece by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams—both Ronnie and Ricky had costly fumbles in this game. Ricky fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line, after a Jason Allen interception, while Ronnie Fumbled after another Jason Allen Interception.
While the Vikings scored only one touchdown off of these two turnovers, if not for a stingy Dolphins defense, it would have cost them the game. These two backs need to be better at holding on to the ball during crucial situations.
Tony McDaniel—McDaniel was almost handed the starting defensive end spot this week, before the Dolphins' staff decided to move Randy Starks back to defense end and Paul Soliai back to nose tackle.
McDaniel had one play that stood out today, and for all the wrong reasons. On an Adrian Peterson run, McDaniel had Peterson easily stopped behind the first-down marker. Peterson was cutting across the field and McDaniel was in perfect position to make the play.
McDaniel decided to turn his jog into a slow walk, and made several weak pokes at Peterson's ball-carrying arm before calling it quits on the play. For a team that wins with discipline and hustle, McDaniel should be in the dog house this week, while spending more time on conditioning.
Kickoff Return Unit—Clifton "Peanut" Smith was brought in so he could give the Dolphins an edge on special teams. Normally, if return yards weren't coming easy, the return man would get most of the blame.
In this case, the Dolphins have done a terrible job thus far blocking for its returners on punts and kickoffs. As field position plays an extremely large role in the turnout of any game, this unit needs work on blocking, double time.
Jason Allen—Jason Allen had two interceptions today, and blanketed any receiver he covered. After his performance the last two games, it is obvious that Sean Smith was not benched, he was beaten out by a much improved Jason Allen.
Allen would have had a hat trick of interceptions had one of them not been called back by a penalty. Allen and Vontae Davis are, so far, a superb duo of corners, with Benny Sapp and Sean Smith playing solidly in reserve roles.
Cameron Wake—it is hard to raise the stock on Cameron Wake, however, he has continued to show improvement playing as an every-down linebacker.
Wake has played with great instincts during these first two games, while still managing to be the most disruptive pass-rusher on the Dolphins' defense. Mike Nolan and Wake go hand-in-hand in the success of this defense.
Defensive Line—Miami's defense wasn't great against the run. Adrian Peterson tore up the Dolphins' defense for over 100 yards. However, when it mattered, the Dolphins held strong at the point of attack and didn't give up any room for positive yards.
On the goal line and in the red zone, the Dolphins forced turnovers and held strong on a goal-line stand, preventing a touchdown that would have put Minnesota ahead.
As this group gains confidence, there won't be many opponents that scare them, if any at all.