Ahead of the Miami Dolphins week five contest against the visiting New York Giants, many fans and media members — myself included — viewed the game as a prime opportunity for Miami’s defense to finally “get right” against an inferior opponent. Despite the fact that Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel wouldn’t buy into that notion — and rightfully so — Sunday’s game was just that for the Dolphins defense.
The unit dominated the Giants offense — planting their flag in New York’s backfield all day long en route to 7 sacks against their struggling opponent.
One player in particular was an absolute menace for the entire afternoon and earned himself my Most Valuable ‘Phin award for a second time this season.
Miami Dolphins Week Five MVP - Andrew Van Ginkel
With Dolphins EDGE rusher Jaelan Phillips missing Sunday’s game with an oblique injury, Andrew Van Ginkel filled in for him superbly. Van Ginkel registered eight pressures, five quarterback hits and one sack. He would have had another huge sack late in the game if the play was not negated by a holding penalty in the Dolphins secondary.
Van Ginkel has been the Dolphins best pass rusher through five games, which could be considered somewhat surprising when one takes into account that Miami was ready to let the former Wisconsin product walk in free agency until new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio phoned up Van Ginkel personally and asked him to return to the Dolphins. Van Ginkel — who had taken a free agent visit with the New England Patriots — jumped at the chance to play for Fangio and signed a one-year deal to remain with Miami.
With so many young players who need new contracts, it remains to be seen if Van Ginkel will stay in South Florida beyond this season, but hopefully something can get done on that front. If the 28 year-old continues to string together outings like he had against the Giants, he will absolutely be cashing in big-time — either in Miami or elsewhere — this upcoming offseason.
Week One - QB Tua Tagovailoa
Week Two - LB Andrew Van Ginkel
Week Three - RB De’Von Achane
Week Four - RB De’Von Achane
Week Five - LB Andrew Van Ginkel