Winning is great! The Miami Dolphins have now won five straight games as they head into their bye week.
We all know the names that have led the way over the past five weeks, Phillips, Holland, Howard, Waddle, Tagovailoa among others. These guys take home the game balls week after week. But as with any good team there are players that go a little less noticed but are just as important.
Today I’m going to start a new series of articles and hand out my inaugural “Lunch Pail” awards for the New York Giants game. This award goes to the guys who do the dirty work. They might not jump off the stat sheet but simply do their job.
Andrew Van Ginkel – Early in the season fans were wondering what happened to Van Ginkel and with good reason. Van Ginkel seemed invisible in the early part of the season. Over the past few games that has changed. When you look at the stat sheet he doesn’t jump off. Against the Giants Van Ginkel logged 4 total tackles (3 solo 1 asst). Where Van Ginkel shined though was his ability to set the edge. The Dolphins played against a very dangerous running back in Saquan Barkley. Van Ginkel did a great job time after time not letting Barkley or Booker get the outside edge. Van Ginkel also recorded four pressures against the Giants. Van Ginkel’s continued good play will go a long way to keeping the Dolphins defense a force to be reckoned with.
Michael Deiter – Giving any type of award to a Dolphins offensive lineman seems ridiculous. This unit has been by far the biggest disappointment this season. Last week against the Panthers there were several bad snaps that killed drives and even led to a Panthers field goal. As fans we oftentimes take for granted the act that gets each play started. Snapping the ball when a 300 plus pound man is crouched in front of you ready to knock you on your back isn’t easy. Deiter returned to the lineup against the Giants and immediately cleaned up the snapping issues from last week and played well in the blocking game. Deiter’s play over the final five games could go a long way in solidifying the Dolphins center spot going forward.
Duke Riley – Riley is another guy that doesn’t jump off the stat sheet. Against the Giants Riley notched three total tackles (2 solo 1 asst). The past two weeks the Dolphins have played with more linebackers on the field, mostly due to the injury to Brandon Jones. Riley has been a solid contributor in filling in for Jones and an injured Brennan Scarlett. Riley has made plays both in the run game and pass game. Duke is another guy that could earn a place on the Dolphins roster going forward.
These past five weeks have been fun and have reinvigorated the Dolphins fan base. Watching these hard working “lunch pail” guys contribute week in and week out is a testament to the type of men they are. Hats off to the “lunch pail” guys!