The Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets on Sunday, sweeping the season series by a combined score of 44-3. The 20-3 performance this weekend was not a perfect one for the Dolphins, who seemed to stagnate on offense at times, but it was a win at the end of the day.
There were some great performances and there were some questionable ones on Sunday. We should just dive straight into the stock rating:
Stock up: Xavien Howard, cornerback - Howard leads the league in interceptions, coming down with another one against the Jets to move into sole possession of the lead with seven. He looks like the receiver at times with how well he is running routes and staying with the opposing player. Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post wrote about Howard’s place in the league - and history - on Monday, including this stat from Elias Sports Bureau: “Among players to make their debut in the Super Bowl Era (starting in 1966) only three players have recorded an interception more regularly than Howard: Lem Barney, Jake Scott and Gary Barbaro (minimum: 50 games played).” Howard is a ridiculous weapon on Miami’s defense and he is constantly making plays.
Stock down: Ball security - The Dolphins had a problem holding on to the ball this weekend. Matt Breida and Patrick Laird each lost a fumble, while Ryan Fitzpatrick and DeVante Parker each fumbled, though Miami retained possession. It was an odd situation where the Dolphins kept coughing up the ball. Luckily, it did not come back to bite the Dolphins, but they cannot keep that up.
Stock up: DeVante Parker, wide receiver - Parker definitely as a connection with Ryan Fitzpatrick that is not yet there with Tua Tagovailoa. That is not a slight on anyone, it is just that Tagovailoa needs more time working with Miami’s number one receiver. Parker caught eight passes on 14 targets for 119 yards against the Jets and was impressive throughout the day.
Stock down: Emmanuel Ogbah, defensive end - Maybe this is unfair, because you cannot expect sacks every single game from a defensive end, and, without having re-watched the tape yet to see what the Jets were doing to block Ogbah, but he seems to have disappeared the last couple of weeks. Miami recorded three sacks on Sunday (Brandon Jones - 1, Jerome Baker - 0.5, Kyle Van Noy - 0.5, Raekwon Davis - 0.5, Elandon Roberts - 0.5) with seven quarterback hits. The Dolphins are doing okay with the pass rush, but they need Ogbah to return to his dominating form.
Stock up: Jason Sanders, kicker - At this point, I am not sure Sanders’ stock can get higher, but he makes the list because the guy is simply the best kicker in the league. He has made eight field goals of at least 50 yards this season, the most in the league, and he has been good on ten straight kicks of at least 50 yards, going back to last season. Two of those 50-yards or more kicks came against the Jets, where Sanders connected from 54- and 51-yards. He is 24-for-25 on field goals this year and a perfect 26-for-26 on extra point attempts.
Stock down: Offensive line - The offensive line was not garbage on Sunday, but it was not good either, earning it the second-straight stock down rating. They gave up four sacks, and it likely would have been more if Ryan Fitzpatrick was not getting the ball out of his hands incredibly quickly throughout much of the game. I think there is a combination that works here though, with Jesse Davis at right guard and Robert Hunt at right tackle. It is time to allow Davis, who plays everywhere on the line, to settle into one spot, and his best position it probably right guard. The line will likely need some continued upgrading this offseason, but for now, they need to solidify as a unit and get back to solid play.