The Miami Dolphins are now two games over .500 with a big win on the road in Arizona.
For the first time since 1996, the Miami Dolphins have won a game in Arizona and while a certain QB stood out so did these five players.
Tua Tagovailoa was the obvious star in Miami’s 34-31 victory over the Cardinals. His play was nearly perfect but he showed he belonged in the league. We talked about his more in an earlier piece today.
While Tua had a really good game, he wasn’t the only one that helped the Dolphins get to “Victory Monday” these five players had just as much to do with the Dolphins win on Sunday.
May as well start with one of the bigger surprises of the 2020 season. Dogged for the last few years as just an average kicker, Sanders has the best start in Miami Dolphins history, and on Sunday, he entered the history books for the Dolphins.
Sanders connected on his 20th consecutive field goal of the season. He previously passed Pete Stoyanovich and Olindo Mare for the most consecutive field goals to start a season when he hit 14, now he passed Mare for the most consecutive in team history.
Sanders has been incredibly reliable this year and on Sunday he put a 50 yarder through the uprights and also set his own personal best with a 57-yard kick to end the first half.
Through 2020, Sanders has been more than solid. Aside from one kick-off out of bounds, he has been able to put the ball wherever he has wanted or the team has asked and his leg seems to be getting stronger. There is a lot of season left and for those that wonder if he can pass the NFL record for most consecutive field goals, well he has 24 more to go. Adam Vinatieri holds the record with 43.
Talk about a massive free-agent steal. Last season with the Chiefs, Ogbah looked good early but an injury sidelined him for the season and the Chiefs let him walk. There mistake. Ogbah has been fantastic all year and entered Sunday with seven sacks on the season.
On Sunday, Ogbah made it eight sacks when in the first quarter he strip-sacked Kyler Murray. The ball was returned for a touchdown. The Dolphins edge defender is becoming one of the best players on the defense. His stat lines on Sunday had him at four tackles and one assist but his play kept Kyler Murray scrambling throughout the game and while Murray ran for over 100 yards on Sunday, Ogbah did his job getting him to the outside.
Ogbah has been impressive all year long and Murray will be the most mobile QB he faces the rest of the season which means we could see a lot more sacks coming in the next few weeks.
Parker’s stat sheet is going to impress anyone and if you had his starting on your fantasy team, you may have needed or wanted more but Parker and Tagovailoa are developing a big connection on the field.
Parker was covered almost the entire game by top CB Patrick Peterson but Tua found a way to feed his receiver when the game was coming down to the wire and Parker continued to make plays. Parker used his body well against Peterson and he is finding ways to locate the ball from his quarterback.
On Sunday, Parker was only targeted 7 times but he brought in six of those passes, most of them in tight coverage, for 64 yards. He didn’t get into the endzone but on Sunday, the Dolphins found other ways to get the ball across the line and Parker played a role in getting them into the red zone.
The Dolphins lost Williams midway through the game with a foot injury following his touchdown reception. Williams was playing well at the time and after dropping two passes last week against the Rams, he stepped up making a couple of key receptions and of course the touchdown.
Williams still needs to play better and more consistent but on Sunday he was doing well until he got hurt.
With seven tackles on the day, Baker was all over the field making plays. If he wasn’t in on the tackle he was forcing the runner back inside or to the sideline. Murray is a hard QB to take down and Baker took a bad angle a couple of times but he is standing out as the defensive leader this year and on Sunday there was a difference in the defense when he wasn’t on the field.
Miami is in good position heading into the final two months of football and beating the Cardinals was not an easy task. The Cardinals are a good football team and Miami found a way to win it. The Dolphins were underdogs again on Sunday but maybe they shouldn’t be summarily dismissed.
Still in a rebuild and with a plethora of draft picks for the 2021 season, the Dolphins are not only heading in the right direction but the players mentioned above are playing key rolls in this change from being a doormat to being a team that can’t be overlooked.