There is something about playing at the New York Jets that brings out the best in Miami Dolphins defensive end
Vernon’s three sacks and team-leading 10 tackles in Miami’s 23-3 victory at MetLife Stadium last Sunday stood out among the voters, just like his blocked field goal and recovery of a blocked a punt for a touchdown in last year’s 30-9 win did when he was chosen as AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Vernon made his presence known early with a sack of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith on the very first defensive play of the game and he did not let up on Smith’s replacement, Matt Simms, sacking him twice in the second half.
“When you watch him in practice, it’s not a surprise to see him having the success that he’s had because he’s been a demon in the one-on-one pass rush since training camp,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “He’s a slippery guy, and he’s very powerful for what you might say is an undersized type pass rusher. He’s not a big guy. He’s not an overly tall guy yet plays with great leverage, has great strength and has some wiggle to him. He’s just doing a great job right now. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things with the other guys being good, the pass rushers as well, but he’s certainly stepped up his game. ”
With 5.5 sacks in the last three games, Vernon now leads the Dolphins with a career-high 10 sacks on the season. He is emerging as a pass rushing threat to be reckoned with on the opposite side of two-time Pro Bowl defensive end
Vernon also has racked up 46 tackles (34 solo) and has been stout against the run as well and his 10.5 sacks are the most by a Dolphins defensive player other than Cameron Wake since Joey Porter had 17.5 back in 2008, the last Dolphins player besides Wake to lead the team in sacks.
Vernon joins Wake (Week Nine) as the second Dolphins defensive player to win Player of the Week honors in 2013.