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Hard Knocks: In Season With the Miami Dolphins Episode 2 recap

Check your pulse if you’re not fired up!

Miami Dolphins v New York Jets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Hard Knocks: In Season With the Miami Dolphins premiered on Nov. 21, following coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and the rest of the franchise for the remainder of the season. The Indianapolis Colts appeared on the show in 2021, and the Arizona Cardinals had the honor last season.

The Dolphins dismantled the New York Jets 34-13 on Black Friday, improving to 8-3 with six games left in the 2023 season. Jevon Holland’s 99-yard touchdown left Miami’s sideline speechless and was featured in the preview for Episode 2.

Jaylen Waddle played a big role in the win, catching all eight of the targets that came his way while leading the team in receiving yards. From Christian Wilkins’ big day to Raheem Mostert’s two touchdowns, the second episode of In Season Hard Knocks should feature plenty of highlights from Friday’s win.

ICYMI: You can — take a trip to 2012 — the last time Miami appeared on Hard Knocks. Also, be sure that your HBO subscription is ready to go!

What is up, Miami Dolphins?

Much like episode one, we hear from coach McDaniel addressing the team to begin the episode. The second-year coach of the Dolphins discussing the often-overlooked challenges of playing on a short week.

McDaniel and the Dolphins’ coaching staff built the week’s schedule around the ability to sleep — it was the priority over everything. Just another reason McDaniel is one of the league’s best coaches.

Stocks rising on defense

Miami’s defense allowed more than 21 points just once since Week 5 and it was only a matter of time until the unit was recognized as one of the league’s best.

Jalen Ramsey gets some love for winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week, who gets interviewed by Ryan Clark and Channing Crowder.

We hear from Jaelan Phillips — and his cat! HBO highlights how Phillips is working to get back into the rotation despite missing three games. It’s brutal to watch this knowing what happens in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.

Phillips calls Bradley Chubb his big brother, mentioning the growing bond between the two pass rushers. These two will headline the defense for years to come.

Practicing on a short week

The 24/7 NFL news cycle has taken some of the news-breaking flair away from Hard Knocks, but we still get a unique look at the team. It looks like Robert Hunt was practicing with the first team, a good sign that he’ll be back soon.

Zach Sieler played a snap at guard against Christian Wilkins — not groundbreaking stuff — still fun! The vibe in Miami’s locker room is that everyone would eat against the Jets.

Week 12

HBO and the Metlife Takeover is the collab we didn’t know we needed. One of the best traditions among this team’s fanbase was getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight while introducing the game!

Miami’s pass rush was fierce early and often against the Jets, Christian Wilkins led the Dolphins with two of the team’s seven sacks of Tim Boyle. Phillips is on the mic, loving the smell of popcorn in the stadium, while he batted a pass and registered three tackles for a loss — what a loss for this defense...

With a minute left in the half, we hear Tagovailoa take responsibility for not only the first interception (a pick-six) but also D.J.’s Reed interception just seconds later. That said, Jevon Holland changed everything with just two seconds left on the clock.

Christian Wilkins and the defensive linemen blocking downfield, what an unbelievable way to end the half. Those are the plays that make good teams great.

The message to Tagovailoa in the locker room was simple — keep shooting. Miami’s fourth-year quarterback was on point to begin the second half, hitting Waddle for a big play to set up a field goal.

Defensively, we see the sack party featuring Emmanual Ogbah, Zach Sieler, and Christian Wilkins. Vic Fangio’s unit — especially Phillips — is getting plenty of well-deserved love in this episode.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Miami Dolphins are a team that likes having run, but there’s a clear line in the sand when it comes to building a great football team. Ramsey is a star on the field, but the insight and confidence off the field truly make a difference late in the season.

I’m a broken record here but Phillips’ injury just sucks. The third-year pass rusher was having the best season of his career, but I’m expecting big things in 2024.

The Dolphins lead the Buffalo Bills by 2.5 games for first place in the AFC East and is looking like a time gearing up for a playoff run. Six turnovers over the last two games have my hand floating over the panic button — but it’s important to keep perspective and realize this offense averages a league-leading 430.5 passing yards per game.