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Five Things I Think I Think About the Miami Dolphins - Week 16

paramount (adjective) - very important of highest rank or importance

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Have a holly jolly Christmas, the Dolphins just beat the Saints

Showed their stuff, did just enough, despite any complaints

Have a holly jolly Christmas, cause the Fins might have a shot

Titans flopping, Patsies dropping sure would help a lot

Oh ho, the Tua show, love or hate, don’t care

The defense will do the rest, so test them if you dare

Have a holly jolly Christmas, because if you didn’t hear

Miami has won seven games and could win out the year!

Burl Ives, songwriter

I don’t want to pull anyone away from spending time with their families to waste time reading my stark mad ravings. So I’ll keep this minimal for today and everyone can get back to wang chunging.

The Fins are the Kings of Caveats

If you watched Monday night’s game, you may have noticed that the announcers did everything humanly possible to apologize on behalf of the Saints organization, the city of New Orleans, and their dearest friend Sean (no last name given).

To them, the key aspects of the Dolphins 6 (now 7) game win streak were that they only faced teams below .500 (sans the Ravens), they were at home for a lot of the games, and against the Saints, they were playing against a team with 22 players out due to Covid. This is like when college football teams from non Power 5 conferences go undefeated and don’t make the playoff because “They didn’t play anyone.” Right; no one except the opponents that were scheduled. Which is literally all they can do. Of course the Fins’ win streak would be more impressive against powerhouses, but I don’t see any other teams reeling off 7 in a row. Especially not after losing 7 in a row first. So take that! Not just any team can be awful and then pretty good.

“Tennessee will be the first real test. Except Derrick Henry is out and everyone knows they can’t win without him, so that game doesn’t count. New England will be it, yeah. Well, Miami already beat them to open the year, Mac Jones is a rookie quarterback, and the Dolphins are at home, so that’s not really meaningful either. The playoffs? They’re only getting in because other teams lost. They’ll lose in the first round. A Superbowl? So what? Other teams have like 6 of those. Call me when Miami gets 10.”

It’s the holidays. Shut up and enjoy 7 in a row. We all know this team far too well to expect a streak like this to happen again for a long while.

The refs sure came to play

I just want to list the poor calls I saw during Monday’s game. This is from memory and without a Gamepass rewatch, so additions are welcome:

  • 2 junk holds (one each for Eich and Jackson)
  • Iffy roughing the passer on Brandon Jones
  • Missed holding call against Waddle in the 3rd
  • No PI on the long Mack Hollins catch
  • No PI on the deep ball to Gesicki in the 4th
  • Missed double hold against Seiler on the long pass to Humphrey

I don’t need the officials to be perfect, but it’s a rough day when that much stands out live. They did clean it up some with the Smythe review, the Hollins review, and Flo’s end-of-first-half timeout debacle/non-debacle. It didn’t happen to matter to the outcome of this game, but I’ve seen poor (or rigged, if you’re a conspiracy guy) officiating turn the tide of more than one important matchup in my day. Let’s hope Miami can play well enough the rest of the way to make anything like that a moot point.

The line is back to its old ways

Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. Imagine dragons. That’s not so hard. Now imagine the Dolphins offensive line is good. That’s sort of like picturing a new color. It just breaks your brain a little bit.

Against the Saints, the run game looked halfway okay at times, with Duke Johnson and Phillip Lindsay taking the lion’s share of carries ahead of Myles Gaskin. I don’t know how much of that was due to the fresh legs of the running backs, but I do know that pass blocking was poor again. The line was consistently getting beaten by a 4 man rush, especially from the edge against the Dolphins’ tackles. Even the 40 yarder to Mack Hollins was a quick throw. The worst example was toward the end of the 3rd quarter when the line was flogged by just a 3 man rush, which forced Tua to attempt to pick up the 3rd and short with his legs, ultimately causing him to get straight mollywhopped short of the first.

I don’t think I’m being revolutionary here when I say that Jesse Davis needs to be replaced at RT this offseason, while Liam Eichenberg at LT and Austin Jackson at LG need competition, at the very least. A new experienced OL coach would be nice, too. I’m giving you a lot of heads up on this one, Sandy Claws.

At least Jaylen Waddle fits this hacked together offensive style to a T, the soon-to-be-record-breaking little scamp. He’s killing it on offense. And speaking of killing it:

The defense was in fine form and has to take Miami through the rest of the year

Tough first outing for Ian Book. That’s all I have to say about that.

There were more sacks out there than just Ol’ Kris Kringle’s, to the tune of 8. I couldn’t find what the Dolphins single game sack record is, but I hope it was 7. The defense can safely say “We got the moves.”

The defense (Christian Wilkins and his towel shenanigans in particular) neutralized Alvin Kamara. He was so ineffective that he basically quit by the end. The defense knew he was their only weapon and made sure he didn’t beat them. Watching it was like getting an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

The Dolphins are ready for the Titans

It’s Tyan Rannehill time. I wrote him a letter on everyone’s behalf:

Dear Ryan,

How are you? I am well. It’s cold here and has been snowing a little bit. I’ve heard people say that you’re just a wide receiver. Please play like one on Sunday.

Love,

All Dolphins Fans

See? I told you it’d be short. At least for me. Happy holidays. Leave your extra presents in the comments.