The Miami Dolphins lost in shocking fashion last Monday night to the Tennessee Titans. Many fans, myself included, wondered if that game was the start of the annual late season Dolphins collapse we’ve unfortunately grown accustomed to throughout the years.
People within the building vowed not to let mistakes from years past creep into their heads and affect the mindset of the current roster. Yet still, the fanbase’s confidence had already taken a massive hit and as the week progressed — and Miami’s injury report continued to look as long as a CVS receipt — plenty of folks became more and more worried that this team could potentially be upset by a New York Jets squad that had just defeated a playoff contender in the Houston Texans by 24 points.
To make matters worse, it was announced on Sunday morning that Miami would be playing their week 15 game without starters Jevon Holland, Xavien Howard and their electric wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
We all collectively took a big breath and settled in for the game — hoping for the best, but secretly expecting the worst.
Well, it turns out all of our fears were for naught, as the Miami Dolphins terrorized the New York Jets throughout the afternoon — shutting out their divisional opponent while putting up 30 points of their own.
The sound you heard as the clock struck all zeroes was a perennially let-down fanbase harmoniously letting out a huge sigh of relief. The Miami Dolphins got back on track and delivered a much-needed victory.
In a game as satisfying as the one Miami just played, we’re going to focus mostly on the positive side of things, so let’s now take a look back at the good, great and one bit of ugliness from the Dolphins 30-0 defeat of the New York Jets.
Minus Tyreek Hill, Dolphins offense puts up big numbers against skilled Jets defense
The New York Jets boast one of the best defenses in the National Football League. They have stars littered throughout their defensive line and secondary — yet on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins offense (minus three starting offensive linemen and All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill) put up 30 points on Robert Saleh’s group.
Tua Tagovailoa sliced and diced his way to 21 completions on 24 attempts (87.5%) for 224 passing yards, one touchdown and a 119.4 passer rating. With the lead comfortably in hand, he sat out most of the fourth quarter.
With Hill missing, Jaylen Waddle needed to step up his role in the receiving game — and he did just that. Waddle brought in eight receptions on nine targets for a whopping 142 yards and one long 60-yard touchdown grab.
The Dolphins as a group didn’t put up big numbers on the ground — rushing for just 77 yards on the day — however, running back Raheem Mostert found the endzone two times which gives him 20 scores on the season. That total breaks Mark Clayton’s prior franchise record of 18 touchdowns scored during the 1984 season.
Miami defense suffocates New York offense; allows just 103 total yards
The Miami Dolphins defense took last week’s late game collapse to heart... and then took it out on the New York Jets’ offensive line and quarterbacks on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami had 14 quarterback hits, six sacks, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. One of their fumble recoveries set the Dolphins up with the ball within two yards of the endzone — gift-wrapping one of Mostert’s two touchdowns on the day.
Bradley Chubb led the way — finishing the game with a total of seven tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. It was the type of performance needed from a defense missing so many key players.
The New York Jets offense was only able to muster 103 total yards on the day — 80 yards passing and just 23 yards rushing.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey shadowed Jets second-year star receiver Garrett Wilson for much of the day. Wilson finished the game with just three receptions for 29 yards.
Already down multiple starters, Dolphins finish game without two more key players
For a team as banged up as the Miami Dolphins are, the last thing we wanted to see was more injuries to key players as the team looks to finish strong in an attempt to lock up the AFC East division crown.
Unfortunately, right tackle Austin Jackson was unable to finish Sunday’s contest due to an oblique injury the newly extended player had been nursing throughout the week of practice leading up to the game. He didn’t play during the second half — instead turning right tackle duties over to Kendall Lamm.
On the defensive side of the ball, it was Emmanuel Ogbah who left Sunday’s game early with a hamstring ailment. Time will tell how long Ogbah will be out, but the Dolphins did just bring back veteran EDGE rusher Melvin Ingram and he’ll look to eat up some snaps if Ogbah does miss game action.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the Dolphins coaching staff erred on the side of caution when keeping these two prominent players on ice during Miami’s blowout victory.
The Dolphins held serve on Sunday — staying two games ahead of the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East division lead. With three games left to play against tough opponents, they need to win their next two contests to avoid a “winner takes all” scenario against the Bills in Week 18. Do you think they can pull it off? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!