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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
Is Tua Tagovailoa finally showing he is the man? Against a top pass defense with little pass protection to speak of and limited weapons, Tua went 27 of 31 for 230 yards and 1 touchdown.
Is Jaylen Waddle finally showing he is a franchise wide receiver? 9 catches for 137 yards and a TD with a long of 57 is a far cry from the running back YPC we have been seeing from Waddle all year.
Is Jaelan Phillips finally showing he was worth a first round pick? 3 sacks, 4 QB hits and 1 pass defensed. It seems he is growing into the linebacker role.
The defense was monstrous, allowing only 64 yards rushing, 134 yards passing and amassing 3 INTs and 5 sacks.
The special teams unit blocked a punt and converted it for a touchdown.
The offensive line provided little protection for Tua and few running lanes for the running backs. Botched snaps were also a problem.
Turnovers, blocked punts, special teams TDs. These were staples of the 2020 Dolphins that are making an appearance a little too late in 2021. It makes one wonder, what happened in the first half of the season that none of these things were happening and now they are? Is it a young team finally coming of age?
The Dolphins have won four in a row after starting off 1-7 and losing some very winnable games against bad teams. Now they are beating tougher teams like the Ravens and Panthers. Again, where was this early in the season? Where were the special teams and defensive plays that changed games? That were a staple of the 2020 Dolphins? And why have these things reappeared? Now the Dolphins are a couple of games out of a playoff spot and Flores is making a case for keeping his job another year. Come to think of it, so is Grier with the recent success of Waddle, Phillips and Holland, who appear to be three future playmakers for this team.
Against a bad team, but the offense was effective today, going 8 of 14 on third downs, scoring 3 TDs, gaining 388 yards, controlling the time of possession with 33:35 minutes of ball control.
The 65-yard TD was Tua to Hollins was the longest pass of Tua's career, and I am willing to bet the longest play from scrimmage for the Dolphins this year. The ball was a little late, as Tua was trying to evade pressure to get the pass off, but Hollins was so wide open that it didn't matter. It would have been nice for the Dolphins to exploit more of these busted coverages that seem to happen frequently to a young Jets secondary.
I do like the versatility and playmaking we are seeing from the Dolphins safeties. This week, Brandon Jones got the sack and forced Joe Flacco to fumble. Christian Wilkins recovered and fumbled and ultimately Jevon Holland came up with the ball. These guys are also able to line up right on the line of scrimmage to show zero blitz and get back deep once the play begins. This in combination with good cover corners is what gives the Dolphins the ability to blitz wantonly.
The offensive line continues to be an atrocious unit for the Dolphins. They have shown no improvement this year and have actually considerably regressed. That top-rated young talent keeps coming to the Dolphins at this position and get worse speaks to coaching. Top offseason priority should be to acquire an offensive line coach that know what he is doing and bring in some veteran talent that can lead the unit on the field.
Tua once again put up a nice stat line, 27 of 33 for 273 yards and 2 TD. He was not sacked. But he threw an ugly interception that the Jets turned into a touchdown a few minutes later. Tua has to clean up that one or two boneheaded throws a game, but these are to be expected with a young player. I would like to see more aggressiveness from him and we did see that later in the game. Obviously it is a challenge to attack the defense deep because those throws typically require more time in the pocket and the Dolphins offensive line is unable to consistently produce a pocket.
The Dolphins are on a 3-game winning streak and building that case that Flores should get at least one more season. The team is definitely playing better, which begs the question - where was this at the beginning of the season? Against teams like the Jaguars and Falcons which should have been wins?