Dolphins’ Byron Maxwell outplayed the NFL’s best
Sunday was a day of redemption all around for the Dolphins, who got inspired performances from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, their much maligned offensive line, and
Sunday was a day of redemption all around for the Dolphins, who got inspired performances from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, their much maligned offensive line, and running back Jay Ajayi. But there was a player on defense who also joined in on the fun.
For cornerback Byron Maxwell, defending the best receiver in football was just what his ailing season needed.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Maxwell, he of poor alignments and missed tackles and the victim of one running back hurdle, wouldn’t perform all that well against Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, the game’s most skilled route runner before and after the catch.
What’s happening with the Miami Dolphins during the season? Make sure you’re in the loop -- take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Dolphins newsletter now!
But Maxwell allowed just three completions against five targets for 23 total yards when guarding Brown, and on two straight plays in the final quarter recorded pass breakups. He recorded four in total on the day, including a vital third down play.
“Yeah, he was hot,” Maxwell said of Brown’s visible frustration. “Who cares?”
After his having such trouble against lesser quality pass receivers, Maxwell’s fury against Brown was a pleasant surprise. Clearly, Miami’s strategy was to go all-in against Brown, and hope that the veteran would live up to his experience. They did, and he did.
Now the test is whether he can retain that style of play, and whether or not the defense will improve as a result. Currently, as a unit, they rank just No. 26 in football.
“I think it is and it can be,” Maxwell said of this preview into what could be. “We just got to go back to work like we did this week and put the work in. Hard work always pays off.”
Our Latest Stories
Should the NFL add teams to solve the league's relocation problem?
There's an owner out there who seems to understand how much NFL fans dislike commercials
Aaron Rodgers should win the MVP, but his bold claim at 4-6 could make him an all-timer
This Pittsburgh newspaper doesn't think very highly of the Patriots
The last time the two teams met, the Falcons won a nail-biter, 33-32
The former first-round pick has some things he would like to get off his chest