Emergence of Vernon makes Miami's defense stronger - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Emergence of Vernon makes Miami's defense stronger

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By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - The emergence this season of second-year defensive end Olivier Vernon has made the Miami Dolphins' strength even stronger.

The front four is the Dolphins' deepest, most dominant unit, made even more so by Vernon. He has six sacks in the past three games, increasing his team-high total to 10½, which is tied for fifth-best in the NFL.

In last week's win over the New York Jets, Vernon had three sacks and 10 tackles, both career highs. On Wednesday he was chosen AFC defensive player of the week.

Vernon and the defense have kept the Dolphins in the playoff race. They'll go into Sunday's game at Pittsburgh tied for fifth in the league in sacks, and opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating that's second-lowest in the league.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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