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Dolphins vs. Patriots stock up / stock down: Miami wins against AFC East rivals

The Miami Dolphins held on for the win in Week 2 as they visited the New England Patriots. Who saw their stock rise and who saw it fall on Sunday night?

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots completed their Week 2 Sunday Night Football AFC East showdown. The Dolphins took an early lead, saw the Patriots claw back into the game, then extended the lead and held on for the win. It was not always pretty, but it was enough.

The Dolphins are now 2-0 on the season and in first place in the AFC East. They have won two road games to start the year, with their first home game coming up in Week 3. They have won two games in two very different ways. What will Week 3 look like?

And, how will the stock ratings for the Dolphins players rise or fall next week? Where does it stand now? We take a look at who saw their stock rise and who saw it fall against the Patriots.

Stock up: Rush defense. A week after the Los Angeles Chargers had their way with the Miami rush defense with 233 yards, the Dolphins stepped up tonight. They were getting after the Patriots and held them to 88 yards rushing on a 3.5 yards per carry average. Miami’s defense as a whole looked much better, but the rush defense took the biggest leap forward and gets the top stock up position here.

Stock down: Second half offense. The offense in the second half seemed to lose its rhythm. Was it taking their foot off the gas? It felt like they were trying to be conservative but then wanted to take one big chance each possession, and it was putting them off schedule. They cannot afford to come out flat in the second half like this again.

Stock up: Andrew Van Ginkel, linebacker. Van Ginkel is playing all over the defense and doing it well. He can be an edge rusher, a coverage linebacker, a run supporter, or a blitzer. He is doing it all for the defense right now. He finished the game with six tackles, a sack, a pass defensed, and three quarterback hits. And, as Cris Collinsworth discussed in the post-game coverage, Van Ginkel was attempting to pull the ball loose on the final Patriots’ offensive play, likely leading to offensive lineman Cole Strange, who was running the ball, to try to get down so he did not fumble. Strange came up inches short of a first down and Miami took over on downs.

Stock down: Snapping issues. The fact that this is not“offensive line” every week, as it has been in recent years, is a positive, but the snapping issues still mean the offensive line is not clear of being represented in the stock down. There were a few bad snaps during this game, including a fumble, a shotgun snap that nearly flew over a jumping Tagovailoa and a low shotgun snap that led to Tagvailoa stumbling and throwing away the ball. Whatever the Dolphins need to do to get center Connor Williams and Tagovailoa working through these issues, they need to be doing.

Stock up: Raheem Mostert, running back. The Dolphins did not run the ball down the stretch last year, which head coach Mike McDaniel said he will work to correct this year. On Sunday, the Dolphins took what the Patriots gave them and ran the ball. Mostert finished the game with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, giving him a 6.7 yards per carry average. Mostert ran with power, and he ran with speed. He looked like a feature back, something that was not expected this year with Jeff Wilson, Jr., currently on injured reserve, was expected to split carries with Mostert and potentially the team running a platoon with Mostert, Wilson, Salvon Ahmed, De’Von Achane, and Chris Brooks. Mostert looks like he is ready and able to be the lead runner for the Dolphins.

Stock down: Erik Ezukanma, wide receiver. The Dolphins tried to use Ezukanma in different ways and packages during the game, but it did not work. He ran the ball three times for five yards and was targeted once in the passing game. It felt a little too obvious that Miami would try something gimmicky with Ezukanma on the field. They do not need to give up on getting Ezukanma involved in the offense, but they need to find a more seamless way to do it.

Honorable Mention: Jevon Holland, safety; Bradley Chubb, linebacker; Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback; Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle