Expectations for the 2020 Miami Dolphins were at an all-time high after the team finished strong at the end of 2019—winning five of their last nine games. So, after spending a boatload of money in free agency and acquiring an influx of youth via the draft, the Dolphins were ready for the 2020 season to begin.
And then in week two, Josh Allen lit the world on fire, throwing for 414 yards in a 31-21 win over Miami. The Dolphins—who a week earlier had no answer for the Patriots run game—had no answer for the Bills passing game in Week 2.
Not the start the Dolphins or their fanbase had hoped for after the promising 2019 campaign.
So, with a date on primetime with Gardner Minshew, which team would show up. The promising, young, hungry Dolphins. Or the lethargic team we witnessed over the first
Let’s take a look at the film.
For years, we’ve been waiting for Jakeem Grant to live up to the hype. Yes, he’s housed a few kickoffs in his career, but we’ve yet to see him become that factor in the passing game, in the way we saw a few years ago on Monday Night Football vs the Patriots.
Grant made a spectacular catch on Thursday, and it played a pivotal role in Miami’s opening touchdown drive.
unreal throw (fitz) and catch (grant) pic.twitter.com/fyxwI7m6GP— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
A week ago, Preston Williams dropped a key fourth-down pass that ultimately cost Miami the W. This week, Williams ran a better route, and most importantly, used two hands to make the catch—opposed to his body a week earlier.
(Note: That’s a sexy throw from FitzMagic)
Williams has the makeup to be a real difference-maker in the NFL. He needs to continue to work hard, focus, and the rest will take care of itself.
Elandon Roberts is a New England guy, and he can do some things that Raekwon McMillan only could not. However, through the first three weeks of the season, the Miami Dolphins could’ve desperately used McMillan in the run game.
Not sure even McMillan stops James Robinson one-on-one in space, but this is about a lot more than one play.
james robinson is vg. first he sells the fake, and then shatters both of elandon roberts ankles in open space. pic.twitter.com/BJ1UrePjku— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
Noah Igbinoghene had a rough week vs Buffalo—we all know this. But he played nicely vs Jacksonville and showed the ‘mental toughness’ to bounce back on a short week.
This tackle on third downplayed a critical role not only to force the fumble but to give the Dolphins a chance to go up 14-0 early.
here's that nice play by noah igbinoghene to force a punt. pic.twitter.com/PJLZaA5W0f— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
Myles Gaskin has been a pleasant surprise early on and i’ll likely touch on that again mid-way through the season. Yes, he’s been explosive in the run game—averaging a whooping 4.0 yards per carry. But he also has shown to be a factor in the passing game, as well.
myles gaskin has those sticky-icky hands pic.twitter.com/7DZZQBdmxj— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already saw the Solomon Kindley video I made from Sunday’s game vs Jacksonville. The guy has been an absolute mauler in the middle of Miami’s offensive line. No play, however, was more impressive than this.
impressive stuff here from solomon kindley pic.twitter.com/JMCfjJ1bfU— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
Chan Gailey needs to find ways to get the football in Jakeem Grant’s hands. Here’s a big play on the end-around out of 12-personnel. Excellent play design and execution IMHO.
The Dolphins goalline offense has struggled early on in 2020. However, Miami was much more efficient this week vs Jacksonville. Here’s Jordan Howard’s 1-yard TD run. (Note: Solomon Kindley flattens a man, and Chandler Cox is bad, bad dude.
cox was playing hard and opening holes on the jordan howard TD run. solomon kindley also flattened a DB pic.twitter.com/prfqNN8y0Y— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
Shaq Lawson came to play on Thursday. He was in the backfield on several occasions and did a much better job setting the edge than in week’s past. It’s not perfect, but Miami’s pass-rush is slowly starting to come together, and Lawson is a large part in that.
You would rather see Jordan Howard taking these short-yardage carries, but I’m convinced Ryan Fitzpatrick told the team beforehand he would put them on his back. And that’s precisely what he did.
This throw is bonkers. And although he was only targeted three times, Mike Gesicki once again found the end zone. Is he on his way to becoming the best ‘tight end’ in Miami Dolphins’ history?
another insane throw by fitzpatrick--WITH a bear paw in his face. he knows exactly where he's going with the football before the ball is ever snapped.— josh houtz (@houtz) September 26, 2020
and at what point should we start talking about mike gesicki being a bonafide stud? pic.twitter.com/7PQiC609j2
Jacksonville never stood a chance.
Zach Sieler needs more reps!
This description speaks for itself. Nice pass break up by Bobby McCain.
Raekwon Davis is a big dude, and could be a staple of Miami’s run defense for years to come.
This was Kyle Van Noy’s best game in a Dolphins’ uniform, and you can see the type of game-changing impact he can have on a game. Here he does a great job of knocking the ball loose and fighting tooth and nail to make the recovery.
KVN came to play on TNF. minshew tries to get cute and KVN pokes the ball free like muggsy bogues in the mid-90's pic.twitter.com/ubZbQzKpYl— josh houtz (@houtz) September 27, 2020
Is Ryan Fitzpatrick the second-coming of Lousaka Polite? I only ask because he’s been automatic in short yard situations. Excellent play design and execution, specifically by the big dudes upfront.
I’ll let Shaq Lawson speak on this next play.
Long season they going come keep putting pressure https://t.co/TuKHmsIsiX— Shaq Lawson (@Shaq_Lawson90) September 27, 2020
Emmanuel Ogbah and Zach Sieler get to Minshew. .5 sack each.
Another monster rep from Sieler and Ogbah continues to show why most quarterbacks around the league fear him.
i think zach sieler earned more reps based off his play vs jacksonville. and emmanuel ogbah looked like a completely different player. .5 sack each. pic.twitter.com/DaHjNRojYS— josh houtz (@houtz) September 27, 2020
Like Sieler, Andrew Van Ginkel NEEDS to see more reps. He’s an absolute animal that plays with a high motor and doesn’t let NOTHING stand in his way—nice sack here by the many with the golden locks, AVG.
If you want to see the full thread, you can follow me on Twitter @houtz.