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 DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -It has been a tough week for the Miami Dolphins' defense.
Linebacker Channing Crowder was fined for his role in an altercation with a New England player, and veteran Joey Porter apologized after refusing to leave the field as coach Tony Sparano had ordered.
All this added to a rough 48-28 loss at home to the Patriots in which the Dolphins allowed 530 yards.
Miami (6-5) is desperate for another win, and its defense is looking for redemption against St. Louis (2-9) on Sunday.
``We're really fired up. That wasn't us out there last week,'' safety Yeremiah Bell said Friday. ``We want to come up this week and kind of make a statement and show everybody what we can do when we don't make mistakes.''
Despite the disappointment and distractions, Sparano said his players have stayed focused this week, an easy task after watching film of St. Louis running back Steven Jackson and receivers Torry Holt and Donnie Avery.
back there,'' Sparano said earlier this week. ``The way he runs is unbelievable.''
Dolphins defensive end Vonnie Holliday called Jackson a ``difference maker.''
``He's a guy that can, at any point, take it the distance,'' Holliday said. ``He's really aggressive and he makes them go, I think. You watch them on film, when he's in there, there's a difference.''
Sparano said he has been impressed by the speedy Avery, who has 35 receptions this season as a rookie with a 14.3-yard average. Avery has often thrived when an opposing team decides to double-team Holt, the team leader in receptions with 42.
``I think he's a tremendous route-runner,'' Sparano said of Holt. ``So the two of them together, you've got a real speed guy and a heck of a route-runner right now, and a quarterback who, I think, has an awful lot of faith and trust in Holt.''
Miami had a tough time stopping Randy Moss and Wes Welker on Sunday, and the frustration of the Dolphins' defenders showed late in the game.
ssel took over after Tom Brady's season-ending knee injury in the opener.
``We were focused last week, we just couldn't stop them at the end of the day,'' cornerback Andre Goodman said. ``I think we want to go back out there and prove our identity as a defense.''
Sunday's loss snapped Miami's four-game winning streak. It also made the chance for a playoff berth seem even tougher for the Dolphins, who play four of their last five games on the road.
``These are games that we have to win, and it starts this weekend - St. Louis,'' Holliday said. ``These guys, they have nothing to lose.''
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