clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Miami Dolphins’ Most Valuable Player | Week 18 | It wasn’t the defense’s fault

Christian Wilkins torments Josh Allen once again.

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have been ravaged by injuries this season — especially on the defensive side of the football.

Star EDGE rushers Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips have both been lost for the season due to ACL and Achilles tendon tears. Andrew Van Ginkel — a player who is having a breakout season in the wake of other injuries around him — suffered a foot injury against the Bills that will end his year. Jerome Baker — who just returned from a knee injury — injured his wrist in Week 18 and was in and out of the contest. He had surgery Monday morning and is out for the rest of the season. All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard has a foot injury that sidelined him against Buffalo and will keep him out of Miami’s Wild Card game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Cameron Goode — a reserve EDGE rusher and special teams player — suffered a serious leg injury and will be done for the year. Jevon Holland is battling through MCL ailments to both of his knees and was in and out of the the Dolphins’ Week 18 matchup. His status for Saturday’s playoff game is up in the air.

Yet, even with the litany of injuries on the defensive side of the football that I just listed above, the Miami Dolphins allowed the Buffalo Bills to score just 14 points offensively in Week 18.

Yes, the Bills were able to move the ball up and down the field, but when it mattered most, the Dolphins were able to force clutch turnovers in key spots.

One player who forced a pivotal fumble that kept Miami’s hopes alive was defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Miami Dolphins Week Eighteen MVP - Christian Wilkins

Christian Wilkins had a career year in 2023 — bolstering his case for being one of the top paid defensive tackles in the league when he signs his next contract. Will that contract be with the Miami Dolphins? It surely will be expensive, but I hope Dolphins general manager Chris Grier can find a way to make it happen, because Wilkins is the heart and soul of Miami’s defensive unit.

On Sunday night, Wilkins tallied six quarterback pressures, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was the highest graded Dolphins player for the game according to Pro Football Focus — receiving an 88.7 overall grade from the publication.

On Saturday night, in frigid Kansas City, another big time performance from the big man in the middle will be needed. Let’s hope Christian Wilkins can put an exclamation point on an already stellar campaign.

MVP TRACKER

Week One - QB Tua Tagovailoa

Week Two - LB Andrew Van Ginkel

Week Three - RB De’Von Achane

Week Four - RB De’Von Achane

Week Five - LB Andrew Van Ginkel

Week Six - RB Raheem Mostert

Week Seven - EDGE Bradley Chubb

Week Eight - CB Jalen Ramsey

Week Nine - EDGE Bradley Chubb

Week Ten - BYE

Week Eleven - CB Jalen Ramsey

Week Twelve - S Jevon Holland

Week Thirteen - WR Tyreek Hill

Week Fourteen - RB Raheem Mostert

Week Fifteen - EDGE Bradley Chubb

Week Sixteen - K Jason Sanders

Week Seventeen - RB De’Von Achane

Week Eighteen - DT Christian Wilkins