The Miami Dolphins smacked the New York Jets on Sunday, coming out of Week 15 with a 30-0 victory. As the Dolphins said on Hard Knocks this year, there is one universal language everyone knows - and the Dolphins used it to crush the Jets. The loss by New York eliminated them from the AFC playoff picture while continuing Miami’s question for the conference’s top seed.
The Dolphins had a strong all-around performance on Sunday, with the offense, defense, and special teams all contributing to the victory. The win removes speculation that Miami would spiral and crash after last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans and it completes the season sweep of the Jets this season. Miami has won four of their five division games this season, losing only to the Buffalo Bills, who they face in Week 18.
Who had their stock rise or fall in this week’s game against the Jets? We take a look:
Jaylen Waddle, wide receiver
Miami came into this game with wide receiver Tyreek Hill sidelined with an ankle injury and analysts explained the Dolphins offense was in trouble. Waddle recorded eight receptions on nine targets for 142 yards and a touchdown to remind everyone he is just as capable of being a number-one receiver as Hill. The Dolphins needed Waddle to step up on Hill’s absence and he did just that.
Bradley Chubb, linebacker
Three sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. After last week’s frustration boiled over to the point of Chubb slamming his helmet on the turf, giving up 15 free yards, which led to a Tennessee Titans touchdown, the linebacker came out looking to make up for the mistake. He did that. Chubb was a menace all day for the Jets offense, making plays that not only frustrated New York, but changed the game multiple times.
Raheem Mostert, running back
Running the ball for 42 yards on 15 carries, or 2.8 yards per carry, is not usually going to land someone in the stock-up category. But when you add in two touchdowns and a new single-season franchise record for touchdowns scored, Mostert earned his way into a stock up rating. The Dolphins relied on the running attack more this week and the Jets knew it was coming. Mostert dealt with the extra attention and he took care of the ball, giving Miami a chance to build the lead, then drain the clock. It was not a dominant, 100+ yardage kind of day, but it was a multiple score, protect the ball, and do whatever was needed kind of performance.
Brandon Jones, safety
Jones is a in-the-box, run-stuffing, blitzing, hard-hitting type of safety. He played centerfield well on Sunday and was rewarded with two interceptions. He had five tackles to go with the two picks and he seemed to be reading the Jets quarterbacks throughout the game.
Jason Sanders, kicker
Whether Sanders has fixed his kicking issues or the Dolphins are just not putting him in a position where he has to kick the 50+ yard field goal, Miami’s kicker is money right now. He was a perfect three-for-three on field goals in the game and hit all three extra-point attempts. He has at least eight points scored in each of the team’s last five games after only reaching that mark twice in the first eight games. He if 10-for-12 on field goals over the last four games and he has not missed an extra point since Week 1. Sanders’ stock continues to rise week after week right now.
Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis, defensive tackles
In the first quarter, the Jets attempted a fake punt, snapping the ball to the up-back, safety Ashtyn Davis, and attempting to convert for the first down. Wilkins and Davis read the fake perfectly, tackling Davis for a one-yard loss. Wilkins also recorded a half sack and a forced fumble in the game, but the stopped fake punt set the tone for the rest of the game and deserves to be recognized.
Liam Eichenberg, center
There was criticism of Eichenberg on X (formerly Twitter - not Xavien Howard) during the game, but the lineman had a pretty decent game given he was playing out of position and with a calf injury that had him questionable for the game. At this point, we all know Eichenberg is best suited to play right guard, but he continues to have to play away from there due to injuries along the interior of the offensive line. In fact, the entire offensive line was good on the day. There were three sacks and there were some holding penalties, but when you are constantly swapping linemen, and the team again finished the game with four reserve players on the line, there will be mistakes. The line was able to open holes when it was absolutely needed and protect Tagovailoa, for the most part. They deserve being in the stock up list.
Miami was penalized nine times for 65 yards against the Jets. Even taking out the delay of game penalty the team allowed as they tried to draw the Jets offsides, a penalty the team purposely took because it made no difference for the upcoming punt, eight penalties for 60 yards is way too many. Holding. false starts, and offsides need to be cleaned up. Too often the Dolphins put themselves in bad spots and have to try to climb out of a hole, or they put the opposing offense in a hole, then allow them to escape by committing a penalty. The Dolphins got away with it on Sunday against the Jets, but against the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills over the next three weeks, they may not be able to overcome those issues.
I know I did not select a player from the game, but there really were no glaring errors or poor performances in the game. Instead, I will look at the injuries that continue to be an issue for the Dolphins. Miami has to get healthy heading into the final three games. Holding Tyreek Hill out of this game, even if he did think his ankle was ready to play, was probably the right choice, giving him an extra week to rehabilitate and get ready for the Cowboys game. Miami obviously did not need him on Sunday. They will next week. They will also need the offensive line to be as healthy as possible, and an aggravation of the oblique injury that had right tackle Austin Jackson questionable before the game and sidelined during it is not going to assist them in getting healthy. Hopefully, the coaching staff was just being cautious with him and he could have gone back in the game if the Dolphins were not so fully dominating it. Miami’s injury problems could be a major factor over the final stretch of the regular season and into the postseason.