The Miami Dolphins came out of Week 7 with a Sunday Night Football win, something they had not done since NBC took over the primetime broadcast in 2006. Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers moved Miami to 4-3 on the season and positioned them back in the AFC playoff picture. The return of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took the headlines, but it was clearly Miami’s defense that led to the victory.
This morning, we take a look back at the game and break down who saw their stock rise and who saw it fall during the game. Miami has issues they need to solve, but they are 4-3 on the year, having only lost the three games in which Tagovailoa could not play the entire time. Here is who stood out and who struggled on Sunday.
Steelers 10 - Dolphins 16
Stock Up: Noah Igbinoghene, cornerback - Fans have loved to hate on Igbinghene since he was drafted in the first round in 2020. He made it easy sometimes, but it also ignored the fact that he was just 19 at the start of his rookie year. Now, in his third season in the NFL, Igbinghene is starting to grow into his role and live up to some of the potential that made Miami target him in the Draft. He may never live up to being a first-round pick or become a Pro Bowl cornerback, but on Sunday, he proved he can make plays and he can be a solid coverage cornerback. He still makes mistakes - but again, he is still only 22 years old - but in a year when Miami’s secondary has been decimated by injury, he is showing up and being the next man up. His interception was clearly the highlight of the game and he deserves the accolades that are coming with it.
Stock Down: Chase Edmonds, running back - At this point, this is no longer a discussion of Raheem Mostert or Edmonds for the top rusher on the team, but rather a question of how many opportunities Edmonds is going to get. He is struggling to find rushing lanes and he is struggling to be a valid receiving option for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as well. Some of the comments here on the site and on Twitter have been focused on Myles Gaskin getting playing time over Edmonds, which is just a sign of how frustrating Edmonds has been. With seven carries, Edmonds picked up just 17 yards, giving him a 2.4 yards per attempt average. Compared to the 4.9 average from Mostert, something is clearly wrong with the rushing attack when Edmonds is in the game.
Stock Up: Trent Sherfield, wide receiver - Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are clearly the top two in the Dolphins wide receivers group, but the surprise is probably Sherfield coming on as the number three. Before the season started, Cedrick Wilson, Jr. was the obvious number three. Sherfield played 56 percent of the offensive snaps, with River Cracraft playing 10 percent and Wilson just six percent. Sherfield is clearly the number three receiver now, recording three receptions for 44 yards, while Cracraft and Wilson did not get targeted in the game. A 2018 undrafted free agent who spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers, in his first year with Miami, Sherfield has positioned himself as the main option outside of Hill and Waddle.
Stock Down: Offensive adjustments - The Dolphins offense started off hot, using the scripted plays to quickly move down the field and score a touchdown on the opening drive, then field goals on the next two possessions. After that, however, the team struggled to keep up with the changes the Steelers did to their defense. Suddenly Hill and Waddle were blanketed and Miami did not know how to make adjustments. Add in questionable calls like going for it on 4th-and-3 from the Steelers 14-yard line with 8:43 remaining in the third quarter instead of kicking a field goal, and the offensive play calling and adjustments are definitely seeing the stock drop. Rookie head coach Mike McDaniel, in his first year as both a head coach and a play caller, has to accelerate his learning curve to make sure the Dolphins explosive offense stays explosive throughout the game and not just in the first quarter.
Stock Up: Xavien Howard, cornerback - You did not hear Howard’s name much during the game and that is because the Steelers simply stayed away from him. Pickett looked just about everywhere else on the field before he considered throwing toward Howard. He allowed three receptions for 24 yards on the night, with a pass defensed. Pickett through 44 passes during the game, but only four toward Howard. The Dolphins top cornerback looked much more like the All Pro, Pro Bowl cornerback than the player who struggled through groin injuries earlier in the year.
Stock Down: Stock up: Jevon Holland, safety - You know what, it was a win and, while there are plenty of things that need to be addressed, I would rather have a fourth stock up than a third stock down. That fourth spot goes to Holland, who continues to be a beast on defense. With a secondary that continually changes around him, Holland is the rock that keeps the defense playing well. His interception was perfectly knowing the situation, sitting at the first down marker and waiting to see what the Steelers did. He read the route and perfectly jumped it for the interception. Holland finished the game with five tackles and the interception.