What we learned from the Miami Dolphins win on Sunday

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14: Albert Wilson #15 and Kiko Alonso #47 of the Miami Dolphins celebrate a fumble recovery in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14: Albert Wilson #15 and Kiko Alonso #47 of the Miami Dolphins celebrate a fumble recovery in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins improved to 4-2 Sunday with a 31-28 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears despite starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill not playing.

Brock Osweiler led the Miami Dolphins offense against one of, if not the best, defense in the NFL and received a ton of help doing so. Here are my week six takeaways.

1) The offensive line delivered their best performance of the season

Coming into the Bears game all the talk was about Chicago’s defense, specifically Khalil Mack and the defensive line. The Dolphins offensive line thwarted the threat of the Bears D-line as Osweiler did not get sacked once.

Mack only registered two pressures the entire game, and a Chicago defense that was second in the NFL in sacks before Sunday, came up empty.

Miami also rushed for 161 yards as a team and some credit has to go to the offensive line for creating holes for Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake to run through.

2) Credit Adam Gase for his offensive game plan

As great as the O-line was, Gase deserves a lot of credit for the way he used Osweiler against a dangerous Bears defense.

Osweiler continually got the ball out of his hands quick which meant the Bears pass rush didn’t even have a chance to get to the backfield. He had an average of 2.63 seconds to throw Sunday which ranked 18th in the NFL, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

Obviously, 18th isn’t even in the top-half of the league. Therefore, Gase’s scheme and plan of taking the short, underneath completion to eliminate the pass rush worked well.

3) Osweiler did his job, he wasn’t spectacular

To add to the second point, Osweiler simply did what Gase asked him to do. The veteran quarterback deserves a lot of credit, but he is not the QB of Miami’s future nor should he start when Tannehill is healthy again.

Osweiler ranked 26th of 28 QB’s in aggressiveness Sunday, 26th in average completed air yards at 3.4 and 25th in average intended air yards at 6.3, per NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

One of his only deep shots resulted in an interception on a pass intended for DeVante Parker and he stared down Albert Wilson on the other which led to Chicago points.

This is not to say Tannehill is elite or a top-10 quarterback or anything of that nature. But he is far superior compared to Osweiler despite being one of, if not the worst, QB in the league weeks four and five.

4) Miami’s defense continues to rise to the occasion

Whenever the Dolphins NEEDED a big play from the defense Sunday, they got one. Miami forced three turnovers at key moments, two in the second half.

First, Robert Quinn forced Jordan Howard to fumble at the one-yard line with less than four minutes left in the first half up 7-0. Kiko Alonso recovered the fumble to preserve the seven-point lead.

Then TJ McDonald intercepted Mitch Trubisky in the end zone with 12:13 to play in the game. Before that turnover, the Dolphins had a 5.2% chance to win the game. McDonald (and Bears tight end Trey Burton who committed a penalty on the play before that resulted in a TD) saved the game.

And finally, Alonso forced Tarik Cohen to fumble with less than two minutes left in regulation with the game tied at 28 and the Bears driving. The fumble set Miami up just 10-15 yards from field goal range, but unfortunately the offense couldn’t finish the job.

The Dolphins are now first in the NFL in interceptions with 11 and T-3rd in the league in turnovers, forcing 14 this season. Five of those 14 turnovers have been in the red zone, which also leads the league.

5) Albert Wilson could be the best signing of the offseason

The Dolphins signed Wilson to help replace Jarvis Landry and thus far the move has paid off. Wilson now has 23 receptions for 359 yards and four touchdowns this season. Landry has caught 31 balls for 391 yards and one touchdown.

Wilson’s six receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns sparked the Dolphin’s comeback, and Miami could not have won without him.

The stats speak for themselves. Gase and the rest of the front office knew what they were doing when they let Landry walk and signed Wilson.

6) Frank Gore can still run

Gore carried the ball 15 times for 101 yards Sunday, including a 32-yard run in overtime to set the Dolphins up with first-and-goal at the seven yard line. It was the 44th time in Gore’s career that he has rushed for over 100 yards.

Gore’s 4.9 yards per carry this season is T-10th in the NFL and his 6.7 yards per carry against the Bears was 6th in the league this week.

Gore was also the first 100-yard rusher against the Bears this season. He has given the Dolphins a boost in the running game they desperately needed.

7) Welcome to the NFL, Jason Sanders

The rookie kicker not only hit the game-winner, but kicked a career-long 50-yard field goal in the win.  And the game-winner was not a gimme kick either. Sanders stayed calm and hit the 47-yarder with ease.

All off-season special teams coach, Darren Rizzi, said that Sanders was “his guy” in the draft. Right now, he made the right decision.

8) DeVante Parker did nothing Sunday, literally 

Parker was on the field for four of 78 offensive snaps against the Bears. He was targeted once and it resulted in an interception. Yes, the ball was underthrown but it didn’t look like he showed any fight to break the pass up.

Despite everything the Dolphins are saying, I would not be surprised if Parker is not a Miami Dolphin by the end of 2018.

One last point…

4-2 is great but Miami must capitalize on back-to-back home games next week against the Lions. Especially with a Thursday night game on the road that follows. Remember, the Dolphins were 4-2 last season as well.

The defense seems to be getting healthier after a brutal few weeks to begin the season. It seems realistic that Bobby McCain and Cameron Wake could be back for the Detroit game. Miami desperately missed McCain Sunday as Torry McTyer got beat quite a few times by Taylor Gabriel, and was eventually replaced by Cordrea Tankersly.

Last, as soon as Tannehill is healthy, he is the starting quarterback of this team.