The Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings completed their preseason schedules on Thursday facing each other in a Preseason Week 4 contest. The Dolphins beat the Vikings 30-9 to finish the preseason 2-2. Now, they will clear the record that does not matter and get ready for games that do count, starting in ten days.
The story of the first half of the game was clearly wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who took advantage of his extended playing time with 141 yards on four receptions, including a 65-yard touchdown. He also drew a 19-yard pass interference penalty on the team’s opening drive, leading to a one-yard Kenyan Drake touchdown run.
Quarterback David Fales finished the first half 9-for-15 for 139 yards with two touchdowns, adding a six-yard touchdown pass to MarQueis Gray to the Grant score. Brandon Doughty put up 37 yards on 2-for-8 passing.
Miami led 23-6 at the half.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Miami holding the Vikings to a 3-and-out.
Miami then moved down the field with Doughty back on the field, but the drive stalled when he was sacked for a loss of 15 yards on third down inside the redzone. Andrew Franks then missed the 45-yard field goal attempt.
The Vikings drove the field as the third quarter ended, facing a third-and-goal from the Miami seven-yard line. Maurice Smith then deflected the pass on a safety blitz on the first play of the fourth quarter, forcing the Vikings to settle for the short field goal.
Miami answered with an eight-play drive for 70 yards, capped with a Fales pass to Mitch Mathews for a 19-yard touchdown. The Dolphins, with the extra point, extended the lead to 30-9.
The Miami offense, even with the knowledge that these were depth players most of the game, continued to look like a potentially high-powered unit. The defense continues to have some concerns, allowing the Vikings to move the ball a little too easily at times. The score was not indicative of the big plays Miami allowed at times, but it does show that there is some bend-don’t-break happening with the team once again.
The Dolphins coaches will now spend the next day or so studying all the film from tonight’s game, as well as everything else from training camp and the preseason, as they look to start making cuts ahead of Saturday’s deadline. The team must go from the preseason 90-man roster limit down to the regular season 53-man limit by 4pm ET Saturday, with some tough decisions coming.