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3 Reasons Why The Dolphins Beat The Commanders In Week 13 - 2023

In this weekly column, I outline three reasons why the Dolphins won or lost their previous game, and provide a short preview for next week’s game.

Miami Dolphins v Washington Commanders Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Game Summary:

Yes, the Miami Dolphins currently sit atop the AFC. No, you’re not dreaming.

Thanks to some key losses around the league, a 45-15 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 12 was enough for the Dolphins to reclaim the No. 1 seed in the AFC. You know the drill, let’s get to it.

Reason 1: Spread The Football Around

This season, the Dolphins have often relied on one man to carry them to victory. In Week 1, that was Tyreek Hill. In Week 2, that was Raheem Mostert. In Week 3, that was De’Von Achane, and so on and so forth.

However, Week 13 was different. 5 catches for Tyreek Hill, 5 catches for Jaylen Waddle. 17 carries for De’Von Achane, and 11 carries for Raheem Mostert. For maybe the first time all season, the Dolphins actually spread the ball around on offense, making it difficult for the Commanders to adjust to Miami’s gameplan. As usual, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was deadly accurate, completing 18/24 pass attempts (75%) for 280 yards and two touchdowns, displaying shades of a prime Steve Nash in the process.

Reason 2: Won The Trenches

As the old saying goes, football games are won in the trenches, and the Dolphins won that battle on Sunday. Zero sacks allowed on offense, three sacks on defense.

As a result of Miami’s stellar play up front, they managed an insane 11.3 yards per pass on offense, giving Tua time to survey the field and deliver a strike downfield. On the flip side, Commanders quarterback Sam Howell was “seeing ghosts”, and with little time to throw, managed just 107 passing yards all game (4.3 yards per pass). Miami dominated the trenches in Week 13, and it helped them come away with the victory.

Reason 3: Stayed Aggressive Throughout The Game

Against the Commanders, the Dolphins raced out to a 24-7 lead midway through the second quarter. However, they didn’t take their foot off the gas, and made it a 31-7 game heading into the second half. But wait, there’s more! The Dolphins kept their finger on the pulse in the second half, scoring two more touchdowns to make it 45-15.

Look, it’s unlikely that the Commanders would’ve come back from a 17-point deficit in the second half, but stranger things have happened. The Dolphins played it safe, and took the game out of reach as quickly as possible.

Game Preview

With the win, the Dolphins improve to 9-3 and hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Next up, a Monday Night Football matchup at home against the 4-8 Tennessee Titans, who are coming off a 31-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12.

What did you think about how the Dolphins played in Week 13? Let us know in the comments below!