Linebacker Jaelan Phillips had an inconsistent start to his rookie season, but turned on the burners during Miami’s winning streak. A three-game stretch starting in late November saw him pick up 6 sacks, 8 QB hits, 6 tackles for loss, and a defended pass to boot. The ferocious edge rusher that we had seen at the University of Miami had begun to pick up steam and show his sky-high potential.
But he has been quiet over the last few contests. His name is rarely called on the television broadcasts, and he has made no noticeable impact on the defense. Over the last three games, he has 0 sacks and 4 total tackles.
Phillips’ future in Miami is certainly not in jeopardy, but he can do a lot for his future snap count and reliability if he is able to put up some numbers against Mac Jones and the Patriots offense. One of the areas that the Dolphins will be addressing in the off season is their linebacking core, the outside linebackers in particular. Is Andrew Van Ginkel a long-term option? What does the defense really have in Jaelan Phillips, and can he be consistent?
The rookie is only 1.5 sacks away from double digits on the year. Keep an eye out for him on Sunday.