The Miami Dolphins dropped their sixth straight game in Week 7. Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo nailed a game-winning field goal as time expired. Atlanta’s phenom rookie tight end Kyle Pitts carved up the Dolphins defense with 163 receiving yards. Let’s be honest, it was a pretty ugly game all around, but there were a few winners among a lot of losers for the Dolphins.
Winner: CB Xavien Howard
X showed why he is the highest-paid cornerback in the league on Sunday. According to PFF the receiver he was covering was targeted eight times and allowed one reception, 28 yards, and had one interception. Matt Ryan had a 2.1 passer rating when throwing towards Howard. Those are ridiculous numbers and X was probably the lone bright spot on a day when the defense really let the rest of the team down.
Loser: LG Austin Jackson
Jackson’s been moved to a new position but it’s still the same old Jackson. He’s been terrible. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. He had a holding penalty on third down that completely killed any momentum the offense might have had. On a separate play, he let Grady Jarrett walk past him which led to one of Tua Tagovailoa’s terrible interceptions. That interception wasn’t completely on Jackson but it would help if Tua had even a half-second of time before he was under pressure. Jackson is unfortunately looking more and more like a complete bust.
Winner: TE Mike Gesicki
I said a few weeks ago that I wouldn’t be surprised if Gesicki ends up being the Dolphins’ best tight end of all time. I stand by that statement. He ended the day with seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins need to do everything they can to lock him up with a new contract. He will be a stud for years to come.
Loser: Josh Boyer’s defense
The coaching staff deserves a lot of the blame for this loss. For some baffling reason they had Eric Rowe covering Kyle Pitts for more of the afternoon and they kept playing zone even after the Falcons repeatedly attacked the middle of the field. I’m not a coach and I don’t claim to know more than them, but I do know that putting Xavien Howard or Byron Jones on Pitts would have had better results than letting Rowe attempt to cover him. Josh Boyer’s defense has been terrible all season, and it’s not because of a lack of talent.
Winner: Tua Tagovailoa
It’s tough to have a rational conversation about Tua right now. If you say something positive you’re labeled a delusional fan and if you say something negative you’re labeled a hater. I’ll try to be as objective here as possible. I’ll start with the bad: Tua threw two boneheaded picks in this game. They were completely inexcusable decisions. Those two turnovers were the reason the Dolphins were playing comeback football. The good: Tua played some really great comeback football. Through the last two weeks Tua has over 600 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. He completed more than 80% of his passes on Sunday. He put the team back into a position to win with less than three minutes left in the game. In a week filled with distractions and trade rumors, Tua played a (mostly) great football game. I understand that the turnovers are inexcusable, trust me, but I do think Tua has shown the ability to be QB1 for the Dolphins and deserves a real chance to be that for the team.