It wasn’t pretty, but they all count.
The Miami Dolphins squeaked past the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 11, by a score of 20-13. Here’s three reasons why the Dolphins were able to pull out a win, along with a short preview of next week’s game.
Reason 1: Lost...Wait, Won The Turnover Battle?
Committing three turnovers on offense isn’t a recipe for success in the NFL, but forcing three turnovers on defense certainly is.
An interception by cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the third quarter helped the Dolphins increase their lead from 14-13 to 17-13, and Ramsey added to his collection with a game-sealing interception in the game’s dying moments. Linebacker Jaelen Phillips also recorded his first career NFL interception, killing yet another promising Raiders drive.
At key moments in the game, Miami’s defense picked up the slack left behind by Miami’s offense. That, my friends, is the sign of a good team.
Reason 2: Defense, Defense, Defense
Yes, it’s Aidan O’Connell. Yes, it’s an interim head coach. Does that matter? I don’t know, but I don’t care.
Miami’s defense was spectacular against the Raiders, end of story. Holding an NFL offense to just 13 points and 296 yards is no easy feat, regardless of who lines up under center. Vic Fangio’s unit is getting better by the week, and for the first time in forever, the Dolphins look like a team capable of being dominant on both sides of the football.
Reason 3: He’s Got Hill, He’s Got Hill...
As we’ve heard Kevin Harlan exclaim countless times this season, the Dolphins certainly “had Hill” on Sunday.
Battling a wrist injury, Hill recorded ten receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. 10 yards, 15 yards, 25 yards, you name it. When Tua looked up, Hill was there, gliding by defenders and getting open. Hill’s speed is well-documented, but his relentless and drive can’t be understated either. He’s become a crutch for this offense, and in difficult spots, the ball is only going to one man—#10.
The Dolphins will go on the road to take on the 4-6 New York Jets, who are coming off a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 11. This game will be played on the Friday after Thanksgiving, marking the first time an NFL game has been played on Black Friday.