The Miami Dolphins improved to 7-3 on Sunday after a convincing 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continued to put up MVP numbers, completing 25 of 32 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. But it was the Miami Dolphins’ rushing attack — and the offensive line’s stout play — that took this game over.
Running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. combined for 184 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. More impressive, however, was the offensive line’s ability to keep Tagovailoa upright despite Cleveland’s premier pass rush. And let’s not forget about Josh Boyer’s defense, a unit that stepped up and made impact plays when the team needed it most.
But before we close the book on the Cleveland Browns and enjoy a much-needed BYE week, let’s look at some of the Miami Dolphins’ biggest plays from Sunday’s win, along with some nExT-lEveL analysis from yours truly.
It’s getting hot in here.
Jeff Wilson Jr. with the first of many angry runs.
Epic pump fake by Tua Tagovailoa that sends the defender into another stratosphere. He then finds fullback Alec Ingold on the check down, who turns upfield and gets into the endzone. Great job by Tagovailoa on the fake, and an excellent job downfield by Tyreek Hill to allow Ingold to score.
tua to alec ingold for the touchdown. pic.twitter.com/HzNTLcrN4b— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
I couldn’t resist.
“so I put my hands up they’re playing my song, butterflies fly away…” pic.twitter.com/ZCi6llHjE7— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
Elandon Roberts with a big hit on Nick Chubb.
Christian Wilkins and Bradley Chubb bring down Jacoby Brissett in the backfield. 1/2 sack each!
Excellent play by Zach Sieler to knock the ball out. Xavien Howard gets credit for the fumble recovery.
Jaylen Waddle almost took this to the crib.
waddle almost took this to the house. pic.twitter.com/YuxsnHtp4L— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
Before the half, Tua and the Dolphins’ offense went on a tantalizing drive. Here’s the first strike to his tight end, Mike Gesicki, on 2nd and 5.
And then on the same drive, on a critical 3rd and 6, Tagovailoa puts this ball on a rope — where only his wide receiver can make the catch. Perfect ball placement and a nice catch by Waddle along the sidelines. This may be one of the most impressive throws of Tua’s career.
A few plays later, Tua hits Trent Sherfield in the corner of the endzone on a perfectly placed ball. Great job by Sherfield of getting both feet in bounds, and for Tagovailoa for reading the coverage and putting the ball right on the money. Robert Hunt also does an outstanding job of helping Brandon Shell.
tua with a perfect ball to sherfield for 6 pic.twitter.com/aJrVGGNv1Q— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
Tua and Sherfield were celebrating after that touchdown.
The Dolphins would score on their first drive of the second half on a 24-yard run by Raheem Mostert.
Christian Wilkins was EATING!!!!
Veteran defensive back Justin Bethel made a few big plays when the Dolphins’ defense needed it most. Here, he does a nice job of shadowing Donovan Peoples-Jones. The ball was off target by Brissett, FWIW.
justin bethel in coverage on 3rd and 4 pic.twitter.com/OrTiamSoai— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
Next possession, Tua finds Waddle to convert a 3rd and 10. $
Then the NFL’s leading wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, got involved.
First, Tua finds Hill underneath on the hitch route, and Cheetah does the rest.
And then, on third and goal, Tagovailoa finds Tyreek Hill in the middle of the field for the touchdown. Excellent job by Tua to make this throw — off his back foot — with a defender in his face.
tua to tyreek hill for the touchdown pic.twitter.com/ZBVL8wvV9b— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
Thomas Morstead was a busy man on Sunday.
Jason Sanders is #good from 34 yards out. 33-17, Dolphins.
Veteran defensive back Justin Bethel made a couple of big plays yesterday.
First, a nice pass breakup down the right sideline, followed by an outstanding tackle on 3rd and 5 to get the defense off of the field.
Jaelan Phillips and Melvin Ingram meet at the quarterback after a well-designed stunt. Lovely sack celebration from Chubb and Phillips, IMHO.
jaelan phillips and melvin ingram meet at the QB on 4th and 7 pic.twitter.com/rKFIpMnhLC— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
If there was ever doubt whether the Dolphins would hang on to beat the Browns, all of that was erased when Jeff Wilson Jr. scored late in the 4th quarter to put the game away. Nice block by Trent Sherfield on #54 and Tyreek Hill for escorting Wilson Jr. into the end zone.
Another big pass breakup on 3rd down by Bethel. #BethelBeachResort
justin bethel with another BIG PBU on third down. pic.twitter.com/H4VUvnW113— josh houtz (@houtz) November 13, 2022
With very little chance of getting back into this one, the Browns went into desperation mode. That’s when the man they call Darth Kader, aka Kader Kohou, stepped up and made two big plays late in the 4th quarter.
With the game out of reach, Skylar Thompson entered the game to take over for the league’s most valuable player. However, to the surprise of everyone, McDaniel called a perfectly timed playaction pass that allowed Alec Ingold to pick up the first down and ice the game.
The Dolphins win 39-17 and now sit atop the Iron Throne in the AFC East.