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Week 1’s Unsung Hero Of The Week

Who is the “Unsung Hero Of The Week” in the 36-34 win over the LA Chargers?

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins beat the LA Chargers 36-34 in the game of the weekend, and a contender for game of the year. Both offenses could not be stopped until the Dolphins defense finally put the final nail in the coffin via a split sack between Jaelen Phillips, and Justin Bethel on 4th down with about a minute left in the game.

There is so much praise to be given. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards, 3 touchdowns, and had several absolute dimes. In my opinion, Tua had the best performance by any QB out there this weekend even though he finished 3rd in QBR, and 4th in QB Rating.

Also can’t forget the Cheetah, eventual 2K man himself Tyreek Hill going for 11 catches, 215 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Hill is the true WR1 in the NFL, and if not for Tua’s injuries, he would’ve finished that way last year too.

Also want to give an honorable mention to the offensive line because they played out of their mind. I can’t say they were perfect because Tua was manipulating the pocket at an elite level to avoid some pressue, but an overwhelming majority of his throws had a clean pocket. Right Tackle Austin Jackson, and Left Tackle Kendall Lamm who subbed in for injured star Left Tackle Terron Armstead, rendered elite pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack useless. They were both a nonfactor even though they were touted as the biggest mismatch pre-game. I barely saw them on my TV, so again shout out to the big boys up front.

BUT.... nobody mentioned so far is the “Unsung Hero Of The Week.” That title for the week 1 win against the LA Chargers is none other than the University Of Miami’s own Braxton Berrios. There are at least a handful of players to choose from for this award, but I believe Berrios made some of the biggest plays of the game, and it needs to be pointed out.

One of the needs the Dolphins addressed in the offseason is a slot receiver that can be a blanket for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The usual option for that rule is a tight end, and Durham Smythe did have some good plays including 1 big play on 4th and 7, but that role has been taken over by Braxton Berrios and you can see the trust forming between quarterback and receiver.

Early in the game on the first scoring drive, Tua breaks away from the pocket and finds Berrios on a big 3rd down conversion, and there will be more of that.

All 3 of Braxton Berrios’ catches were for first downs. On this one in particular it wasn’t a super catchable ball due to the tight coverage so Tua had to put it in the one spot that only his receiver could get it. Berrios went down, and scoped that bad boy off the floor. That’s what I call sure hands.

The biggest play of the game outside of the 3rd & 10 absolute dime from Tua to Tyreek was this pass from Tua to Berrios. It was 3rd & 15 from the Dolphins 20 right after a fumbled snap on second down, all the momentum is swinging in the Chargers favor up 4 points while likely about to get the ball back.

Tua got flushed out of the pocket, and rolls left while Berrios who was running up the seam breaks left mirroring Tua who is rolling that way full speed, and becomes Tua’s only option. Tua throws another absolute dime, and Berrios secures it falling out of bounds with the defender all over him.

This play may not be as flashy as the Tyreek bombs, but if Berrios doesn’t get open, and make the contested catch, the Chargers get the ball back and look to go up two scores late in the ball game. Dolphins defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed at the time either so that made this play that much more clutch.

I just wanted to slide this play in here because it’s something I missed during the game. I remember the play, and the commentators saying it was a risky throw, but all I could think was that the play design was flawed.

Thanks to The Phinsiders own George Forder for tweeting this out because it looks like Tyreek ran the wrong route on this play. If he doesn’t do that, the “risky” throw that gets tipped by Tyreek turns into a bullseye dart from Tua to Berrios for 25+ yards, and one broken tackle away from a 45-yard touchdown. Just saying.

Several players could’ve been the “Unsung Hero Of The Week” including Austin Jackson, and Kendall Lamm but we need to make sure it goes to a guy that’s not getting a lot of praise for their impact.

Enjoy the above message from the “Unsung Hero Of The Week” Braxton Berrios, and I’ll see you here again next week.