The game got off to a shaky start for the Dolphins — spotting the Panthers a multiple touchdown lead before clamping things down defensively while carving up the opposing defense with chunk plays through the air and on the ground on offense.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was once again sharp, finishing the contest with 21 completions on 31 attempts for 262 yards passing and three touchdowns. He ended his day midway through the fourth quarter with the game under control — leaving with a 126.0 passer rating.
Tyreek Hill continued his monster season — nabbing six receptions for 163 yards and a score. He’s up to 814 receiving yards through just six games. Those who scoffed at his goal of 2,000 plus receiving yards this year may have to eat their words at season’s end as Hill needs to average just 107.8 yards each time out through the team’s final 11 games to reach his goal.
It was a good win for the guys in aqua and orange, but it wasn’t perfect and there’s always more work to do. So let’s use this opportunity to take a look back at the good, bad and ugly from Miami’s 21 point victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Raheem Mostert continues hot streak; finds endzone three times
Raheem Mostert regained his bell cow status this week after rookie running back De’Von Achane was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury that he suffered against the New York Giants last week.
What did Mostert do with the extra touches? He turned them into three more touchdowns — giving him a total of 11 scores through just six games on the year. It’s already a single season career high for Mostert in the touchdown department.
Mostert finished the game against the Panthers with 17 rushes for 115 yards (6.8 yards per rush) and two touchdowns. He added three receptions for 17 yards — scoring another touchdown through the air as well.
The 31-year-old running back is having a career year thanks to head coach Mike McDaniel’s commitment to the running game and new offensive line coach Butch Barry’s ability to turn Miami’s big men up front into a respectable unit. Let’s hope his success continues as it would go a long way towards the Dolphins claiming their first division crown since 2008.
Fins start slow; spot Panthers 14 point lead early
The Miami Dolphins defeated the Carolina Panthers by 21 points on Sunday, but an early 14 point lead by the winless Panthers had some Fins fans sweating things out in the first quarter. The shaky start by Miami’s defense allowed Carolina’s rookie quarterback Bryce Young to engineer two touchdown drives in the first frame — one that ended in a Chuba Hubbard touchdown run, and another that saw Young hit 33-year-old wide-receiver Adam Thielen for an 8 yard score.
Miami’s defense would eventually stiffen and they would not allow another point to be scored by the Panthers on the afternoon (minus Mike White’s garbage time pick-six late in the contest).
The Dolphins defense will need to be on their A-game this upcoming week when the team heads to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Another slow start could threaten to sink Miami’s ship before it even sets sail in week seven.
Xavien Howard leaves game early with groin injury
Last year, Miami’s defense suffered while former All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard battled multiple groin injuries throughout the season. Through five games this season, Howard looked to be back to his old form after a long offseason of rest and recovery.
Unfortunately for Howard and the Miami Dolphins, the 30-year-old cornerback suffered a new groin injury in the second half against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
By the the time the injury occurred, the Dolphins had the game under control, leading by multiple touchdowns and stifling Carolina’s comeback bid at every turn. Hopefully that is the reason why Howard did not return to the game against the Panthers — and not because his groin injury was of the severe variety.
During head coach Mike McDaniel’s postgame availability, he confirmed the injury and said the team will have to continue to evaluate Howard throughout the week of practice ahead of week seven. Speaking with reporters following the game, Howard himself said, “I feel great. Feel good.”
Let’s hope those good feelings continue because a date with Eagles’ receivers A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith looms...
The Dolphins maintained their lead in the AFC East with a victory over the Panthers. While it wasn’t a perfect game, the team still took care of business against an inferior opponent — winning by 21 points. What kind of shot do you give them to knock off the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!