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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Tua Tagovailoa had another monster game, completing 78% of his passes for 285 yards, 8.9 YPA and 3 TDs with no picks. This is the third consecutive game in a row where Tua throws 3 TDs and no picks. He is only the 4th player in NFL history to do this, along with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. That is rarified air. Tua is currently 2nd in the league in completion percentage, 3rd in yards per game, 1st in yards per attempt, 1st in QB rating, 1st in QBR, tied for 3rd in TD passes and only has three interceptions all season. During the game, Miami fans were chanting "MVP" during timeouts. Perhaps a little premature, but Tua is certainly quieting his naysayers this season.
The two-headed monster of Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert combined for 184 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Wilson in particular has been a revelation, gaining 119 yards on 17 carries and catching 2 passes for 24 yards. What an upgrade over Chase Edmunds! Overall, the Dolphins rushing attack gained 195 yards at a 5.9 ypc clip. As productive as the passing game has been, to see the running game show up only makes this offense that much more dangerous. Running the football is critical in the cold weather, which the Dolphins are sure to face later this year, especially if they make the playoffs.
The offensive line helped pave the way for the rushing attack and protected Tua well against two very good defensive ends. You would often see Dolphins offensive linemen blocking 4-5 yards downfield on running plays. As I stated in the offseason, for the Dolphins to run the ball, they need a real center and Connor Williams has provided that.
Overall, the offense gained 491 total yards, 29 first downs, didn't turn the ball over and controlled the clock for 33:14.
The defense also had a good performance. After a rough start where the Browns drove the ball down the field for a touchdown, the Dolphins only allowed 10 points the rest of the game. They held Nick Chubb to 63 yards rushing and were shutting him out until he broke one run for a 33-yard TD late in the game. They were able to sack Jacoby Brissett 3 times and force a fumble. The Browns only had 297 yards of total offense. Overall, a solid performance against a team that ranks 5th in total yards, 5th in rushing yards and 10th in total scoring.
Not a lot of bad when you blowout the opponent, but the Dolphins special teams need work. Kick coverage is iffy. Check the results of the first play of the game. Jason Sanders hit two field goals, but missed two extra points. At this point, special teams appear to be the weakest unit on the team, although the defense can give them a run for their money at times.
Emmanuel Ogbah, The Dolphins largest cap hit this season, is out for the year with a torn tricep.
Thomas Morstead is eating up $1.047M in cap room to walk around the sideline.
7-3. First place in the AFC East. This is the Dolphins best record through 10 games since 2001. The passing game is clicking. The running game is showing signs of life. The defense is playing complimentary football when it's needed most. Mike McDaniel seems to be pushing all the right buttons, especially with his young QB. As Dolphins fans, we have to be thrilled with the results so far. It is almost disappointing that we have a bye week this week, as I want to keep watching more.
We've not been this excited about these Dolphins in a long, long time.
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.