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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.
Tua Tagovailoa had a monster game, throwing for 382 yards and 3 TDs and posting a yards per attempt average of 10.6. He is the first QB in Dolphins history to complete 80% of his passes while throwing for over 350 yards and 3 TDs. This is the second monster game Tua has this season.
Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are everything we imagined them to be. They combined for 294 yards and 2 TDs and were uncoverable all game long.
Overall, the offense gained 476 total yards, 27 first downs, 8 of 12 on third down and were relatively balanced with 26 rush attempts to 36 pass attempts. I would like to see more of Raheem Mostert as he is our most effective back and seems to rip at least 1-2 10+ yard runs per game.
The defense conversely put the team in a 14-0 hole early. They had a tough time stopping the Lions. Admittedly, the Lions are pretty good on offense. They are 4th in total yards and 9th in scoring. But they did come off two straight games where they did not score a touchdown. On the bright side, the Lions have now not scored a point for two straight quarters, so the defense definitely fixed some things in the second half and played complimentary football. The unit that seemed to struggle the most against the Lions was the defensive line, who wasn't able to get much pressure until the second half. The Lions have a pretty good offensive line.
Special teams allowing that punt fake. We all know Dan Campbell and we all know that it exactly the situation where he would call something like that. Our special teams have gotten significantly worse this season.
It was a pretty close game against what is a pretty bad team on the road. But the Dolphins were able to come ahead in the second half. It could definitely have been a better performance, especially by the defense. But a win is a win.
The Dolphins are 5-3 and in a tight race in what is probably the best division in the AFC. Next week is a middling team in the Chicago Bears, who can't protect their QB (Justin Fields has been sacked 31 times). This would be a great opportunity for the front 7 to have a coming out party. Winning the next two games put the Dolphins in position to go 7-3 into the bye week to get healthy for the stretch run. Here's hoping they take care of business.