For the second week in a row, the Miami Dolphins emerged victorious. This week’s W was even sweeter because absolutely no one had them with even a small chance of victory against the Baltimore Ravens. Ignore the fact that the offense was still sputtering along, this was a defensive masterclass and the Dolphins did the impossible in completely shutting down Lamar Jackson, one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Here are this week’s winners and losers. I could talk about how the offensive line still struggled in this game, but we’re going to focus (mostly) on what went right for Miami.
WINNER: Robert Hunt
How would I not start with Robert Hunt? Even though the play didn’t count because Hunt technically wasn’t an eligible receiver, he had one of the best “big man touchdowns” I’ve ever seen.
John Harbaugh should have declined the penalty simply by principle. This play is going to go down in history and is already immortalized on an elevator in the Miami Dolphins facilities.
LOSER: Jacoby Brissett
The Dolphins couldn’t get anything going on offense with Brissett under center. They had only six points before he left the game with a knee injury. Even though it looked like he wanted to come back in, Flores decided to give Tua Tagvailoa a shot instead and Brissett was left to watch his team win without him. That can’t feel great.
WINNER: Brian Flores
Brian Flores reminded the world that he’s a defensive mastermind. Whether the problem all season has been game plan or execution, I don’t know, but on Thursday night everything came together for the Miami Dolphins defense. The defense was playing on an elite level for the whole game, showing all out blitzes and disguising coverages to confuse Lamar Jackson.
WINNER: Javon Holland
Javon Holland looked like an absolute stud on defense in this game. He was flying all over the field and constantly involved in shutting down the Ravens offense. The Miami fanbase has been understandably hard on GM Chris Grier lately, but the Holland pick is looking like it was an absolute winner.
WINNER: Tua Tagovailoa
He didn’t light up the world and throw multiple touchdowns or anything, but and injured Tua came in after Jacoby Brissett went down with a knee injury and did enough to get the team the W. Obviously most of the credit for this win goes to the defense, but if the offense had stagnated the entire game as it did with Brissett under center, I don’t know that we’d be looking at the same final score. Tua made some really great throws and showed quick and decisive decision making. His best play was probably a deep pass to Jaylen Waddle that traveled 45 yards in the air.
WINNER: Xavien Howard
Howard had an incredible scoop and score early in the fourth quarter that really turned the tide in what was a very close defensive matchup. His return for the touchdown was particularly impressive.