Jaelan Phillips delivered an impressive final word on the 2022 regular season with a big game against the New York Jets in Week 18.
Seven tackles, four quarterback hits, and three quarterback hits may not seem impressive but Miami’s second-year edge rusher was disruptive for 60 minutes.
Miami loved to blitz and offensive lines were forced to put a hat on a hat instead of coordinating double teams.— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) February 26, 2023
Phillips chops at the right tackle's hands to get into his body. It was well-reported that the Jets played Flacco because he got the ball out quick. pic.twitter.com/ellxMCHvI0
Phillips earned an 89.5 Pro Football Focus grade, his third-highest of the year, with what seemed like a bottomless toolbox. An impressive chop prevented the tackle from extending his arms. Shortly after, Phillips was in Flacco’s face with a bullrush.
Phillips posted his third-highest PFF grade of the year (89.5) and finished the game with 7 tackles, 4 hits and 3 hurries.— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) February 26, 2023
The stats don't jump off the page but Phillips created constant pressure. Here he gets in Flacco's face with a bull rush. pic.twitter.com/ZQcoZXIeno
Miami’s blitz-happy mindset under Josh Boyer forced plenty of one-on-one matchups in the trenches. That said, the Dolphins didn’t have to blitz for Phillips to be a menace — especially when lined up against a tight end.
I know there are the people out there who want to see results in the form of stats — but Miami gave up just six points in this game.— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) February 26, 2023
Phillips forced Flacco into outlet throws time and time again. Here, for some reason, he is one on one with a tight end.. pic.twitter.com/2pXqUUbh7P
Phillips proved he must be a priority for opposing offenses by taking advantage of mismatches — punishing teams that didn’t plan for his speed off the edge.
Phillips finished the season with nine sacks, but that doesn't include plays like this. Miami's aggressive mindset created one on one matchups across the board. pic.twitter.com/I4NzzzsUFZ— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) February 26, 2023
The former first-round pick and Bradley Chubb, who the Dolphins traded a first-round pick for, are penciled in as outside linebackers in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense. Phillips shines as a pass rusher but has also taken major steps forward when it comes to stopping the run.
Let's not forget about run defense! pic.twitter.com/tEbbxaWI5C— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) February 26, 2023
After years of relying on a stout secondary, Miami’s front seven is the clear strength on defense. While things may look different — primarily a lot less blitzing — a front consisting of Phillips, Chub, Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler, and Emmanuel Ogbah should have little issue generating favorable matchups in the trenches.