The Miami Dolphins snapped a 5-game losing streak with a 11-6 win over the New York Jets in Week 18. With their win, the Dolphins punched their ticket to the 2022-2023 NFL Playoffs, marking the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016. Here’s three reasons why the Dolphins were able to defeat the Jets on Sunday:
Reason 1: Jason Sanders
When it mattered, he delivered. After a season full of ups and downs, Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders was responsbile for all 9 of Miami’s offensive points on Sunday. After a pair of 37 yard field goals, Sanders knocked through the game winner from 51 yards, marking just his 2nd field goal from 50 or more yards all season. Sanders finishes the regular season 26/32 (81%), 18th-best in the league.
Jason Sanders on Sunday vs the Jets:— Sumeet (@flameosumeet) January 9, 2023
- 3/3 FG (100%)
- 2/2 from 30-39 yards
- 1/1 from 50+ yards
Perfect. #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/f4n6k85aGv
Reason 2: Defense Showed Up
Holding any team to 6 points is impressive, regardless of the opponent. But a division rival, in the last game of the season, with the playoffs on the line? Yeah, that’s legit.
Now, the Dolphins were playing a team ranked 25th in total offense, led by the corpse of Joe Flacco. So, not exactly the Greatest Show on Turf, but close, right? Jokes aside, the Jets had more than enough weapons to punish a decimated Dolphins defense. And yet, the Dolphins stood tall, and simply would not budge. Make no mistake about it, the Dolphins don’t win that game without a stellar performance on defense.
Reason 3: No Turnovers
The Dolphins didn’t win the turnover battle on Sunday, but they didn’t lose it either. As a team, the Dolphins didn’t have a single turnover on offense. Rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson will have better days, but crucially, he protected the football, as did running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. December and January football is typically ugly and low-scoring, which is exactly what the Dolphins were up against on Sunday. Luckily, they were up for the challenge.
The Dolphins enter the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, and will travel up north to take the on the No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills on Sunday, January 15th. The Dolphins split their matchups with the Bills this season, winning at home and losing on the road.
What did you think of the Dolphins’ performance in Week 18? Do you fancy their chances in the playoffs? Let us know in the comments below! This article was written by Staff Writer Sumeet Jena, who can be found on Twitter @flameosumeet.