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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Outside of a 72-yard TD catch by Tyler Boyd, the Dolphins defense was monstrous. The Bengals had 196 total yards and only ran for 40 yards. Cincinnati had -4 yards in the 3rd quarter and almost no yards in the entire second half. The Dolphins had 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. Kyle Van Noy (3 sacks) and Shaq Lawson (2 sacks) in particular were on fire. Xavien Howard brought in his league leading 8th interception. But I was most impressed by the Dolphins having 11 tackles for loss and completely shutting down the Bengals running game.
2nd Half Tua, please let's see more of this. In the second half, Tua looked decisive and was able to move the chains consistently. It only translated to 13 points in the 2nd half, but the difference in play was remarkable.
The running game was productive enough. I can live with 110 yards on 28 carries. Myles Gaskin looked decisive in and out of the hole, but did have one fumble.
1st Half Tua, please go away. No more. Thank you.
We almost had an all-out brawl on the field and Brian Flores may have been leading the way on that while standing up for Jakeem Grant, who was illegally hit by Mike Thomas while trying to field a punt. It was nice to see a head coach with balls for once, but we also need one that maintains his cool.
The Dolphins are well-positioned to make the playoffs, sitting at 8-4 (their best record since 2003) and deep in the thick of the wildcard race.... except for the fact that they play the defending Superbowl champs, the surging Patriots, the competitive Raiders and the tough rival Bills over the next four weeks. The Dolphins will need to buck up significantly, in stopping the run, in moving the ball and in a lot of other areas to make the playoffs. 2nd half Tua will need to stay permanently. There are no gimmes.
I personally think the Dolphins will fall short. Despite their record, the talent flaws on this team are apparent and good teams will exploit them. Here is to hoping I am wrong.
The Defense only allowed 3 points (in two games) against the Jets. Held the Jets offense under 300 yards, 3 of 13 on third downs, had 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. Xavien Howard continues intercepting passes at a high rate.
Devante Parker had a big game (something he seems to do more of when Fitz is the QB).
The running game was decently productive, gaining 104 yards on 25 carries.
The offensive line struggled in pass protection, allowing 4 sacks.
The offense fumbled 4 times, losing 2 of them.
As much of a mixed bag as Fitzpatrick is, the offense is clearly more productive with him under center at this point. Obviously all of the caveats exist for Tua being a rookie QB who didn't play football for a year. It would be nice to see him improve when he returns, though.
The Dolphins are right in the mix of the wildcard. They have one more "easy" game next week against the Bengals before the schedule toughens up considerably. But the Dolphins are a team full of holes and don't show the strengths that take teams deep into the playoffs such as run defense, running the ball or elite QB play that masks these issues. As happy as we should be with the progress from Flores in year 1, there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered. The next few weeks will give us a clearer picture of how far we are from being real contenders.