The Miami Dolphins are officially in sole possession of second place in the AFC East with Sunday’s 30-9 blow-out win over the New York Jets.
Man, was it a game for Miami! The Dolphins came straight out of the gate FIRING! Miami combined a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown, a blocked field goal, and a well rounded defensive effort to equal a big win over their divisional rivals!
-Rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill left the game early in the first quarter with a leg injury – although the injury does not appear to be severe, Miami’s coaching staff opted to sit Tannehill for the remainder of the game and roll with back-up Matt Moore.
-Moore possibly deserves the game-ball for his performance Sunday – 11/19 131 yards 1 touchdown. Moore’s statistics will not jump off the page at you, but his ability to lead this team under immense pressure deserves huge recognition. No reason to think that Miami’s offense will lose a beat if the team must go with Moore against Indianapolis this Sunday.
-Running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas played a large role in Sunday’s win. Bush – 14 carries 59 yards 1 reception 6 yards – seemed to sit most of the second half out; probably just precautionary to rest Bush as Miami had the game in hand. Thomas, on the other hand, was the second half work horse – 15 carries 42 yards 1 touchdown 1 reception 3 yards. Thomas surprised me with his ability to hold on to the ball when Jet defenders were clearly attempting to punch the ball out. Miami may just be able to ride this duo to a wild-card birth.
-Wide Receiver Brian Hartline – 4 receptions 41 yards – did not over-whelm the New York defense in this one, but he did prove to be the go-to-guy on offense through the air. Hartline MUST continue his early success for the remainder of the season – no matter who is under center.
-Wide Receiver Davone Bess – 4 receptions 28 yards – had a productive day as far as moving the chains goes. Bess is, and will always be, the go-to-guy in third down situations. No change here as Bess is clearly Miami’s most consistent option through the air.
-Wide Receiver Jabar Gaffney picked up his first catch as a member of the Miami Dolphins Sunday, with a beautiful 30 yard strike by QB Matt Moore. Gaffney also dropped a beautifully thrown ball, which would have resulted in a touchdown.
-Tight End Anthony Fasano continues his stellar play this season serving as the safety valve on offense. Fasano made a beautiful 4 yard touchdown reception from QB Matt Moore.
-The offensive line looked fresh in this one – which was a breath of fresh air to say the least. All five offensive linemen looked powerful in the run game – not to mention everyone looked stellar in pass protection – both Jet sacks were coverage sacks.
-The ENTIRE Defensive Line deserves an A++ for Sunday’s effort. Defensive Tackles Randy Starks – 2 tackles – and Paul Soliai – 4 tackles 1 fumble recovery – both were constantly in the Jet back field on run plays. Defensive Ends Jared Odrick – 2 tackles – and Cameron Wake – 1 tackle 1 sack – also were involved in the run game and applied pressure to Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez on a frequent basis.
-Linebacker Kevin Burnett was easily the best linebacker on the field Sunday. Burnett finished the game with 6 tackles and 1 sack, but his presence in the run game was felt on a frequent basis. Burnett looks to be getting better each week.
-Linebacker Karlos Dansby sat out some of the second quarter with an elbow injury, but later returned. Dansby finished the game with 8 total tackles – he was absolutely flying all over the field. Dansby still has to become more consistent in pass coverage, though.
-Corner Nolan Carroll, who has filled in admirably for injured starter Richard Marshall, played his best game of the season Sunday. Carroll finished with 8 tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. If Carroll can continue to play at a high level, he may unseat Marshall for the starting position opposite Sean Smith.
-Safety Chris Clemons played his best game of the season Sunday. Clemons was constantly coming up from his safety position to be a force in the run game – as well as pass coverage. Clemons finished the contest with 9 tackles and a HUGE game changing interception to end a New York drive.
Special Teams -
-Olivier Vernon deserves his own recognition here. Vernon accounted for a blocked field goal and recovered a blocked punt in the end-zone for a touchdown. The rookie defensive end from the University of Miami has had an affect on two straight games, resulting in Miami victories.
-Jimmy Wilson is also continuing his stellar special teams play. Wilson was able to shoot the gap and block a punt, which added to Miami’s built up momentum. Wilson is easily Miami’s best special teams player covering punts and kicks.
-Kicker Dan Carpenter “got his swagger back” Sunday finishing perfect from the field on field goal attempts (3-3) and extra points – not to mention he hit the ball perfectly with a surprise onside kick to follow up Miami’s first scoring possession.
-Punter Brandon Fields, again, was god-like. Fields was able to pin New York deep in their own territory numerous times, helping out Miami’s defense by lengthening the field.
An excellent well rounded effort equated to a Miami victory Sunday. The Dolphins will be facing a tough Indianapolis Colts team this Sunday in Indianapolis. The Dolphins may have the superior squad as far as talent goes, but nobody can over-look what this Indianapolis Colts team has done so far this season.
As always, Keep Your Fins Up!!!!
—–ALL STATISTICS TAKEN FROM NFL.COM—–