clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Good, Bad & Ugly from the Miami Dolphins Week 2 victory over the New England Patriots

Dolphins stifle Patriots run game while Raheem Mostert hits pay-dirt twice on the ground,

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are 2-0.

That alone is an accomplishment to be celebrated, but when you then take into account the fact that both of those victories came on the road — one against the Los Angeles Chargers; a playoff team from last year that boasts one of the league’s best offenses and the other a division win against the New England Patriots; one of the best coached defenses year after year — we, as a fanbase, should take a step back and truly appreciate how special this Miami Dolphins team is.

The Dolphins are one of only two AFC teams to start the season with consecutive victories — joining the Baltimore Ravens as the only undefeated teams outside of the NFC. There’s certainly more work to do, but for now, smile, Dol-Fans. We’ve got ourselves a good football team to root for.

But, while it was a satisfying win, it wasn’t all roses for Miami on Sunday night, so now we must dive into the good, bad and ugly of the Dolphins 24-17 week two victory over the New England Patriots.


Dolphins control line of scrimmage on both sides of ball

A week after allowing the Los Angeles Chargers to rush for 234 yards at a 5.9 yards per carry average, the Miami Dolphins rushing defense stepped their game up against the Patriots — stifling a potent ground attack while giving up just 88 rushing yards on 25 attempts (3.5 yards per carry).

Dolphins defenders amassed eight tackles for loss, with Bradley Chubb tallying a pair on his own. Raekwon Davis made up for his poor performance in week one by routinely dominating the line of scrimmage against New England. Filling in for the injured Jaelan Phillips, Andrew Van Ginkel played with his long flowing locks on fire all night long, wreaking havoc in the Patriots backfield.

Stopping the run is great, but when you combine that with your own dominating ground game, that is a recipe for success in the National Football League. The Dolphins gained 145 yards on the ground on 30 attempts Sunday night (4.8 yards per carry). Raheem Mostert gained 121 yards on 18 carries (6.7 yards per carry) and hit the endzone twice. Mike McDaniel’s patience in the run game paid off, as Mostert’s long touchdown scamper late in the game was the difference on the scoreboard.

If Miami can continue controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, that should go a long way towards their goal of winning the AFC East and making a deep playoff run.


Dolphins special teams miscues keep Patriots in game late

The Dolphins were handling the Patriots pretty comfortably for most of the game Sunday night. Then Miami’s struggling special teams unit struck again.

With just 3:32 left in the third quarter, the Patriots blocked a field goal attempt from Jason Sanders with a unique play design that saw a Pats defender motion towards the line of scrimmage at a full sprint, cut towards the holder at the snap of the ball, and dive in front of the kick for the block. It was a play that gave New England all sorts of momentum, and if not for a spectacular Xavien Howard interception on a ball intended for former Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker near the endzone on the ensuing drive, just the kind of play that could have changed the outcome of this game in the Patriots favor.

Later in the contest, with the game in the balance, Jason Sanders missed a 55 yard attempt — because of course he did — that gave the Patriots the ball with roughly two minutes left and a short field to attempt to tie the game. Thankfully the Dolphins defense bailed him out and the win was secured, but special teams coordinator Danny Crossman definitely has plenty of work to do to clean up operations with his unit before it costs the Dolphins a win at some point this season.


Patriots defender goes head hunting; forces Jaylen Waddle from the game

Jaylen Waddle was Miami’s leading receiver on Sunday night — nabbing four balls for 86 yards. His undeniable speed and athleticism was on display throughout the contest.

Unfortunately, he was unable to finish the game due to a cheap shot hit from Patriots rookie linebacker Marte Mapu that forced the receiver into the blue medical tent to be evaluated for a concussion. Mapu was flagged for the play while New England’s head coach Bill Belichick tried to argue that he was “playing the ball.”

Sure, Bill.

After the game, Miami’s head coach Mike McDaniel said the team was still evaluating Waddle and that there was no official update on his injury. If Waddle did indeed suffer a concussion, his status for Miami’s home opener against the visiting Denver Broncos in week three will need to be monitored throughout the week.


Miami went on the road in weeks one and two and secured victories against the Chargers and the Patriots. Do you think they are one of the best teams in the AFC? Do you think Miami’s commitment to the run Sunday night was a fluke or can they continue to successfully utilize Mostert and company throughout the season? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!