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The Good, Bad & Ugly from the Miami Dolphins’ Week Thirteen Victory against the New York Giants

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

1 + 17 + 11 + 15 + 25 + 8 = 5...

Five wins in a row! It’s simple mathematics, folks!

On Sunday against the New York Giants at home, Miami took care of business by a score of 20-9 en route to their fifth consecutive victory. As a result, the Dolphins head into a much needed bye week with a record of 6-7 and are officially “in the hunt” when it comes to the NFL Playoffs.

There was plenty of good, yet still some bad and a little bit of “ugly” on Sunday, so let’s rewind the tape and revisit Sunday’s victory in this week’s edition of Good, Bad, Ugly.

GOOD

Jaylen and Jaelan set Miami Dolphins rookie records while defeating the Giants

Miami Dolphins’ rookie wide receiver, Jaylen Waddle, once again had himself a nice game on Sunday, amassing 9 receptions for 90 yards. With those nine receptions, Waddle finds himself with 86 total grabs on the season – a new mark for receptions by a Dolphins rookie – surpassing the 84 receptions that Jarvis Landry collected in 2015. Barring injury, Waddle will absolutely destroy that number and could possibly find himself ahead of Anquan Boldin’s rookie record of 101 receptions by season’s end. In fact, it would be a disappointment if he didn’t set a new record, considering he has four more games to do it.

Miami’s rookie EDGE defender, Jaelan Phillips, also climbed to the top of Miami’s rookie record book on Sunday while collecting two sacks against the Giants. His 8.5 sacks surpasses the previous record of eight recorded by Bill Stanfill and Lorenzo Bromell as rookies. After a somewhat slow start to the year, Phillips has come on strong as of late, collecting 6 sacks in his last three contests.

Good work, rooks. Let’s keep it up.

BAD

Too many dropped balls

The Miami Dolphins’ pass catchers didn’t have their best days despite the 20-9 victory on Sunday. The actual number varies depending on who you trust, but some analysts counted as many as six dropped passes against the Giants, which is out of a total of 11 incompletions.

That number didn’t cost Miami the victory against the Giants and their backup quarterback, however the Dolphins can’t continue to make those kinds of costly mistakes going forward if their plan is to win out and find themselves in the playoffs this season.

If you add those six dropped passes to Tua Tagovailoa’s statline, he would have passed for 36 completions on 41 attempts – good for an absurd 88% completion percentage. That would have given him three consecutive games above an 80% completion percentage while attempting 30 or more throws. Alas, he finished with a measly 73.1% completion rate. I wonder if Logan Ryan could do that?

UGLY

Jason Sanders is no longer automatic

Coming off of a 2020 season in which Jason Sanders went 36 for 39 in field goal attempts, was named to the Pro Bowl and was a 1st team All-Pro selection, confidence was sky high for the young kicker heading into the 2021 season.

That confidence has damn near bottomed out in 2021, with Sanders missing yet another kick on Sunday. Now, granted, the kick that Sanders missed on Sunday was no “gimme,” as it was officially a 52 yard attempt, but he also missed another kick that did not count due to a stoppage before his try. His second go-around on the kick just barely squeaked through the uprights.

On the season, Sanders is just 17 for 23, already missing double the amount of kicks he did last year. If you watch his facial expressions and body language before his attempts, you can clearly see that there is something negative going on between the ears and he doesn’t seem to trust his abilities this season. Hopefully there is something to salvage with #7, as far too often in the NFL, kickers get a bad case of the yips and their careers are over in a flash.

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How are you feeling after Miami’s fifth consecutive victory? Are you happy with the placement of the bye week or do you think it’s coming at the wrong time and will kill this squad’s momentum heading into the final four games of the regular season? What is your prediction for Miami’s final record and do you think it will be enough to get them into the playoffs? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!