The Miami Dolphins lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in a 31-23 game that was probably not as close as the eight-point spread. Miami had some good moments, but they also frustrated the fans. Miami’s lone touchdown came late in the game, with the Seahawks already cruising to the win. Otherwise, it was a ball-control game with Miami settling for field goals.
Who saw their stock rise on Sunday? Whose stock was hurt by the Seahawks? We take a look at three for each category:
Stock up: Jason Sanders, kicker - Sanders was clearly the player of the game for the Dolphins, connecting on five field goals. The most accurate kicker in Dolphins history was good from 41-, 29-, 45-, 43,- and 29-yards during the game. The only reason Miami was able to pull within eight late in the game was because Sanders continues to convert on field goal attempts. The discussion of should Sanders have been kicking those field goals is separate, but it is clear the Dolphins have kicker they can trust to put points on the board.
Stock down: Noah Igbinoghene, cornerback - It has been rough for the rookie, who is being asked to match up with some of the top receivers on opposing offenses while Byron Jones has been rehabilitating a groin injury. He is making rookie mistakes and looks lost on the field at times, but he is being asked to perform and he is not up to that level yet. The Dolphins need to get Jones back and give Igbinoghene a reprieve.
Stock up: DeVante Parker, wide receiver - Remember when any little injury would slow Parker to the point that he was ineffective on the field, and more than likely, coaches would not even put him on the field. That really does seem to be a thing of the past, as Parker has been playing through a hamstring injury this year. He caught ten passes for 110 yards on Sunday, moving him to 279 yards on the year, the fourth highest total (pending Monday Night Football) in the AFC.
Stock down: Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback - I am not going to call for Fitzpatrick to be benched, but he is definitely struggling. There are times the offense is clicking and Fitzpatrick looks like the starter the Dolphins need. Then there are times where the offense is stuck in neutral, and Fitzpatrick cannot seem to find the spark they need to get back into gear. He threw two interceptions on Sunday, and it did appear his arm was hit as he threw on both of those, but if the Dolphins are going to be struggling on offense without being able to find a rhythm, does it need to be with the veteran under center, or should they consider moving to the rookie?
Stock up: Xavien Howard, cornerback - Howard has two interceptions on the season, including a diving one in the endzone on Sunday. Russell Wilson threw for 360 yards, with 106 of those going to Howard’s primary responsibility, D.K. Metcalf, so it was not all great for Howard, but he is one off the NFL lead in picks this year, and he is looking more like the pre-knee injury Howard.
Stock down: Brian Flores, head coach - I thought the Dolphins’ game plan was sound, especially with how they were trying to control the clock and keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands. The Dolphins had possession for just over 33 minutes in the game, running 68 offensive plays, and clearly working to wear down the Seattle defense. It was a great plan, but then there were the field goals. Sanders had a great day, but why Flores was willing to trade field goals for touchdowns has to be questioned. It almost worked as the Dolphins pulled within two at 17-15, but Wilson is going to direct touchdown drives - two of them after Miami’s fifth field goal - and the Dolphins needed possessions that ended with six, not three.