What a fine Monday it is! The Miami Dolphins are 1 and 0 after a road win against a division rival, and nothing else matters! It wasn’t necessarily a pretty win but I’d much rather win ugly than lose pretty.
Last week I played the role of Friday morning quarterback and listed what I thought were keys to beating the Patriots in New England. Let’s see how I did.
Offensive Line – While the offensive line wasn’t great it wasn’t all that bad either. Tua Tagovailoa was sacked only twice in this game. I can live with that. He did face some pressure though and that needs to be cleaned up. The highpoint for me though was when the Dolphins got the ball back with a one point lead and three and a half minutes left they were able to run the clock out. That’s a winning recipe.
Win the Field Position Battle – Neither team had a big advantage in the field position battle. New England started, on average, at their own 27 yard line while the Dolphins had an average starting position of the 25 yard line.
Stop the Patriots running game – The first play of the game Damien Harris scampered for a 35 yard game. I’d be lying if that didn’t shake me a little bit. I thought this could be a long afternoon. Then a few plays later Raekwon Davis went down with an injury and I was shook a little more. Thankfully the defense stepped up. After the first play the Dolphins defense yielded just 90 more yards on the ground on 29 carries. That’s a paltry 3.1 yards per carry. The front seven’s play was huge in securing the win for the Dolphins.
Safety Play– The Dolphins safeties played well. According to PFF the Dolphins safeties (Rowe, McCourty, Rowe, Holland, & Jones) were targeted 14 times giving up eight receptions for 72 yards. They also contributed 18 tackles, a forced fumble, and one pass defensed. This group had to play well, and did.
Tua Tagovailoa – Tua played well enough to win. Was he great? No. Was he awful? No. The one thing Tua will take the most heat for is the interception. He said in the post game that he was trying to throw the ball away. Whether that’s true or not he’s got to not do that. As a fan we hate sacks, but sometimes, and especially with this defense, it’s ok to punt the ball away. Tua will play better games and that will bode well for this team.
Overall the Dolphins accomplished the five points I laid out in my Friday Morning article which I said would end with a happy Dolphins fan base on Monday morning. To say I’m happy today is an understatement.