One of the keys to Miami's 3-4 defense is to have a big man clog the middle and take on a couple of offensive linemen. That job falls to 12 year pro Jason Ferguson and 2nd year player Paul Soliai.
Soliai violated some team rule and was suspended for last week's game. So, that left Ferguson and a much smaller Randy Starks (even though they're listed at the same weight, they're not), who typically playes end, to fill the middle.
Ferguson was injured early in the game, so Starks played most of the way. The results were a lot of yards rushing and some domination by the Ravens. Now poor tackling was another problem - one that Sparano will address this week - but clearly the nose tackle was an issue.
Ferguson is expected to miss this week, and that leaves Soliai as the proposed starter, and Miami has a rookie tackle to help as well.
It does kind of make you wonder, though, doesn't it? That guy could make that much of a difference?