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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The passing game, featuring Tua, Waddle and Hill, was electric and is becoming a common theme each week. Tua is the first QB in Dolphins history to throw for 300+ yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs in consecutive games. Hill has the most receiving yards of any wideout through 9 games and the combination of Hill and Waddle have more receiving yards than any wide receiver duo in the Superbowl era.
Jeff Wilson Jr. came in and gained 51 yards rushing on 9 carries and caught 3 passes for 21 yards and an impressive diving TD. Here is hoping Wilson can add a spark to the run game, that outside of Raheem Mostert, hasn't been doing much for the Dolphins.
A punt block by Jaelen Phillips leading to a TD by Andrew Van Ginkel may very have been the deciding play in this game, as otherwise, the two teams were in essentially a back-and-forth shootout.
It is also becoming a common theme for this defense to get sliced and diced. The Bears gained 252 rushing yards and scored 32 points. The primary problem was Justin Fields and his running. He gained 178 yards on 15 rushes and scored 1 TD. He also threw for 3 TDs. The Bears 10 of 16 third downs, gained 23 total first downs, controlled time of possession (34:46), gave up only 2 sacks, and did not turn the ball over. That being said, the defense also held the Bears to 38 yards and 0 points on the last two drives, when the Dolphins offense seemed to go into a funk.
The defense needs to do a better job of defending mobile QBs. Let's not forget that Josh Allen is in our division and Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are in our conference.
Mike McDaniel needs to work on his 2-minute offense. Outside of the end-of-half and end-of-game sequences, the Dolphins offense was on fire. But they seemed to go into a shell in critical 2-minute windows. Before the half, the offense seemed very nonchalant about clock management. At the end of the game, it was clear the running game wasn't working and the pass game was. McDaniel has a tendency to go running game-heavy in those situations. And while it would be ideal that our team could gain ground yards in those situations, it is also obvious that the passing game is far superior and should be what we lean on in those situations. Don't go away from what is working just because you're in situational football. Not with how it's painfully obvious what this team does well.
While the punt block by Jaelen Phillips was impressive, his defense on Justin Fields was not. Phillips was the defender on what seems like almost every big running play made by Fields. A player like Fields, you want to force him to stay in the pocket, throw the ball, make a decision and you have to trust your teammates to maintain their assignments, which means you have to maintain yours. Oftentimes, Phillips overplayed his assignment, leading to Fields gaining big yards running the ball.
A win is a win and a road win is a road win. The Dolphins are 6-3, they currently own the 4th seed in the AFC playoff picture, and still have some very winnable games in their immediate future. The passing game is firing on all cylinders and we've seen this defense pick up the slack in the 2nd half of the season before. We're seeing the offensive line improve in pass protection and glimpses of the running game improving. Special teams are showing signs of life.
Hopefully the streak continues and the Dolphins finally make the playoffs.