It was the longest game in NFL history.
The Dolphins are now 1-0, and there are several reasons for the team’s improbable victory.
Reshad Jones played out of his mind, as did rookie defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Kenny Stills caught both of Ryan Tannehill’s touchdown passes and Jakeem Grant played well on the perimeter, in addition to his 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The offensive line played well and surprisingly enough, so did the defensive line.
As you can see, there are plenty of notable players deserving of the Week 1 game ball. So let’s take a closer look at the five nominees.
Jones is one of the best safeties in the NFL and looked the part in Miami’s victory over the Titans on Sunday. He was all over the field, combining for 7 total tackles and 2 interceptions. He was a menace in the run game, and dropped into the box several times to make big plays. In addition, Jones made several plays in coverage and made things difficult for the Titans all day long. Reshad Jones should be nominated for several weekly awards around the league for his play in Week 1.
In 2016, Ryan Tannehill and Kenny Stills developed chemistry and it picked up exactly where they left off. With Parker out, Stills was called upon to be the team’s #1 wide receiver, and it showed. Stills caught 4 balls for 106 yards and 2 Touchdowns. But none bigger than his 75-yard touchdown from Tannehill in the 4th quarter. Stills finished the game averaging 26.5 yards per catch. Expect a lot more of this from the veteran wide receiver.
For not playing in 637 days, Ryan Tannehill looked very good on Sunday. It was clear he had a strong understanding of the offense in year three, and knew where to go with the football on nearly every play. He used his strong accurate arm to make several tough throws, but none bigger than the 75-yard strike to Stills late in the game. It wasn’t all well and good for Tannehill, who threw two interceptions vs Tennessee. The first, Mike Gesicki fell down on a fade route and an inaccurate throw from Tannehill made it easy for the Titans to make a play. Another, was a miscommunication on a deep ball to Jakeem Grant, that sailed way over the 5’6 speedster’s head. Tannehill finished the game 20/28 for 230 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. There were ups and downs, but enough good things to build upon heading into Week 2 vs the New York Jets.
The rookie defensive back looked like one of the best players on the field on Sunday. His play in coverage is something the team has long yearned for and his sure tackling, might have saved the Dolphins the game. Minkah combined for six tackles on the day, but the stat line doesn’t do his play justice. He will be a versatile piece to the Dolphins’ defense for many years to come. We should all be thankful that he is a Miami Dolphin.
DeVante Parker who? It is anyone’s guess as to what type of role “Mighty Mouse” would have had, if Parker were able to play on Sunday. Nonetheless, Grant made his impact felt. His 102-yard kickoff return is the second longest in Dolphins history and gave the team a necessary spark after the second intermission. Grant finished the game with 5 catches for 38 yards, but his play should warrant him more opportunities moving forward. He has the potential to be the Dolphins’ version of Tyreek Hill and that is something that fans should be excited for.
So who do you think deserves the game ball for the Dolphins 27-20 victory over the Titans? Vote in the poll, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. (If you are reading this on Apple News or Google AMP, you probably will not get the poll. Sorry.)
Who deserves the game ball for the Dolphins victory over the Titans on Sunday?
This poll is closed
This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!