The Miami Dolphins went into the halftime break against the New York Giants up 10-7 on Sunday, and looked like they were in the game. In the second half, the Dolphins could not get anything going and the Giants simply outplayed the South Florida franchise.
Two weeks ago, the Dolphins were in elite company when it came to red-zone touchdowns, ranking in the top five of the league in terms of being able to punch the ball into the endzone from close range. During two straight games at MetLife Stadium, Week 14 visiting the New York Jets and yesterday’s Giants game, Miami could not find the endzone from inside the redzone.
It was an ugly second half and redzone performance for the Dolphins, and they dropped to 3-11 on the season behind a 36-20 drubbing. Besides the redzone struggles on offense, here are some of the players/positions who had either good performances or struggled against the Giants:
Stock up: DeVante Parker, wide receiver - It was not a huge day for Parker, who caught four passes for 72 yards, but he did have two scores and looked healthy after leaving last week’s game with a concussion. He has 954 yards and eight touchdowns on the year, both demolishing his previous career highs. His 59 receptions on the season surpassed the 57 catches he had in 2017 to establish a new career high there as well. He has two games remaining to pick up 46 yards for his first 1,000 yard season and two touchdowns to reach double-digit scores.
Stock down: Offensive line - The Dolphins were rotating players into the offensive line all game and are clearly looking for players who can perform for the remainder of this season as well into next year. Right now, the Dolphins look like a team without an offensive line, especially when you look at the three sacks and 11 quarterback hits allowed this week. The entire offensive line may need to be overhauled next year, and several of the team’s draft picks will likely be used to shore up the pass protection and run blocking.
Stock up: Jason Sanders, kicker - The Moutaineer Shot. Seven of eight field goals against the Jets. And now two-for-three with two extra points against the Giants. It was not an exceptional day on Sunday for Sanders, but he gets this nod for an odd stat. No one in the league - including the Jets and Giants kickers - has more field goals at MetLife Stadium this season as Sanders. His nine MetLife kicks ties him with Jets kicker Sam Ficken while Aldrick Roasas has eight field goals for the Giants at home.
Stock down: Charles Harris, defensive end - A week after the Dolphins made Taco Charlton a healthy inactive for “game plan” reasons, the Dolphins did the same this week to Harris. Miami needs to generate pass rush, and Harris, a first-round pick in 2017, has not done that. His time with the Dolphins could quickly be coming to an end.
Stock up: Vince Biegel, linebacker - The Dolphins may have a gem in the “throw-in” player in the trade of Kiko Alonso to the New Orleans Saints at the start of the year. On Sunday against the Giants, Biegel recorded six tackles, two for a loss, and his first career interception. On the season, he has 57 tackles, two sacks, and one interception.
Stock down: Defensive Secondary - This is not so much a reflection of the players on the field as it is the health of the position. Miami threw four undrafted free agents at the cornerback position on Sunday; Nick Needham (2019), Jomal Wiltz (2017 - Eagles/Patriots), Linden Stephens (2018 - Saints/Broncos/Seahawks), and Nate Brooks (2019 - Cardinals/Patriots). It is just a rough time to try to stop the pass in Miami, with no pass rush and young, developmental cornerbacks being asked to perform like seasoned veterans. The Dolphins secondary has been decimated by injury this season.
Honorable mention: Albert Wilson, wide receiver - It was not a dominating day, but Wilson was strong with five receptions for 59 yards, one reception shy and 26 yards clear of his previous season highs. He is still in danger of having a career low in yardage for the season and is well below his career average yards per reception (6.9 this year, 11.9 for his career), but he was able to get back on the field after a concussion last week, and he is starting to show some explosion again after his hip injury that cost him most of 2018.