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The Good

Ryan Fitzmagic showed up and saved the Dolphins when they needed it most. Fitz made downfield throws that were missing all game and almost doubled the entire Dolphins offensive output in one quarter. His 34 yard pass to Mack Hollins while having his head rotated by a Raiders defender was a thing of beauty.

The running game was pleasantly effective again. The Dolphins gained 130 yards on 25 carries. Myles Gaskin set the pace with a 6.2 ypc clip.

Gaskin was also a stud catching passes out of the backfield. His 59 yard catch and run for a TD was the type of big play missing earlier in the game.

Andrew Van Ginkel was a beast, with 2 sacks, 8 tackles and a tipped pass that he almost intercepted. He is a player that really stands out on film.

The Bad

I do not care how high Tua Tagovailoa's completion percentage was. While he was the QB, the offense could barely perform. He gets benched and all of a sudden downfield passes are being completed. Tua has a lot to learn yet to be considered the answer at QB for the Dolphins. It is easy to be "accurate" when all you do is throw 4 yard passes into the flat. I hope Tua was watching the types of "open" throws Fitz was making.

The Ugly

The QB situation is tough to watch and to analyze. On the one hand, you keep benching your top 5 pick and when you do, the offense hums along. What does that do to his confidence? On the other hand, it pays off and you win a game with significant playoff implications. It's an interesting tight rope for Brian Flores to walk.

Overall

The Dolphins got the win and are well-positioned to make the playoffs. But I have to ask what will this do long-term to the Dolphins QB position. Hopefully Tua can take this as a learning experience. But if the Dolphins have soured on him, they will most likely have a top-5 pick to play with in the next draft.

The Good

The defense was dominant, holding the Patriots to 12 points, 2 of 9 on third downs, 303 total yards, sacking Cam Newton 3 times and forcing 3 fumbles (1 recovered). The Patriots only held the ball for 22:34, which is a far cry from the first match-up.

The Dolphins running game surprisingly showed up big time. 240 yards on 42 carries. Both Salvon Admeh (122 yards) and Matt Breida (86 yards) showed up. The Dolphins averaged 6 ypc on the ground. The offensive line wore down the Patriots front 7 and the Dolphins were able to dominate time of possession by holding the ball for 37:26.

The Bad

Injuries have completely decimated this team, especially in the passing game. With Parker and Gesicki out, the Dolphins were unable to attack downfield. Tua Tagovailoa only threw for 145 yards. The leading receiver was Durham Smythe with 5 catches for 40 yards. The Dolphins had to go run-heavy and throw short passes all day to win. Ultimately, the gameplan worked, but it was very hard to watch.

The Ugly

Another tale of two Tua's, but this time it wasn't by halves, but rather by type of player. Tua the passer had a terrible game, throwing for 145 yards and one interception. But Tua the foot player did what was needed to win, running for two touchdowns and making plays in the second half when it was needed most. It wasn't pretty on the stat sheet, but he did what was needed to win.

Overall

The Dolphins have guaranteed themselves their first winning season since 2016. Will it lead to their first playoff berth since 2016 as well? It is looking increasingly difficult for the Dolphins to get in. Even though they are 9-5 and own the last wildcard spot, the Ravens have two cupcake games against the Giants and Bengals (combined 7-19-1), while the Dolphins have to finish against the Raiders and Bills (combined 18-10). If the Dolphins can beat the Raiders, it may all come down to whether the Bills are resting their starters the last week of the season.

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