The Miami Dolphins’ three-game losing streak came to a screeching halt as the Dolphins edged out a 16-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers to improve to 4-3.
The Dolphins finally found their footing again.
After starting out 3-0, the Phins dropped three straight games, largely in part to losing two quarterbacks to head injuries. But on Sunday night, Tua Tagovailoa made his return and guided the Dolphins back into the win column.
Here are the winners and losers from a hard-fought week seven win in Miami on Sunday night:
Winner: QB Tua Tagovailoa
It was honestly a win for all of us to see Tua back on the field for the Dolphins.
However, it was not gaudy numbers or highlight reel throws from Tua that made him a winner on Sunday night. What stood out when watching Tua was his aggressiveness and lack of fear. One may expect someone coming off a vicious head injury to play it safe and conservative, but not Tua.
Tua lowered his shoulder into oncoming defenders to fight for extra yards. He extended plays when most quarterbacks would give up. He did not just take the easy route and slide; he was playing to win the game.
Loser: G Liam Eichenberg
Mr. Eichenberg has not been in good graces with the Dolphin fan base at all this season.
That trend continued on Sunday night as he struggled once again in prime time in front of the entire nation. His night started off poorly with a penalty on the first offensive play of the game for the Dolphins and did not get much better.
Eichenberg struggles to keep a solid base under him, tries to reach with his arms and overall does not look good enough to stay in the starting unit at this point. It seems anytime Tua is pressured, it comes from Eichenberg’s gap.
The Dolphins really need to consider plugging someone like Michael Dieter into Eichenberg’s left guard spot if they want to keep Tua upright this season.
Winner: CB Noah Igbinoghene
A first-round selection in 2020, Noah Igbinoghene had really not played up to the hype surrounding his name — until Sunday night.
With the game on the line, Igbinoghene made the biggest play of his young career. Protecting a six-point lead with less than thirty seconds to go, the Steelers were threatening at Miami’s 25-yard line. Then Noah Igbinoghene happened.
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett tried to squeeze a ball in to wide receiver Diontae Johnson, but Igbinoghene was in perfect position. The ball hit Noah in the numbers and he toe-drag-swagged his way to a game-winning interception in his own end zone.
Loser: RB Chase Edmonds
Chase Edmonds could not catch a cold.
The running back had a classic late-October case of the butterfingers as he dropped ball after ball on Sunday night. It’s becoming a real issue for Edmonds and the Dolphins as they leave yards and points on the field in what’s becoming a tight AFC wildcard race.
Edmonds’ concerning issues may drop him even further down the depth chart. Behind Raheem Mostert, guys like Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed could realistically start to take Edmonds’ touches on Sundays if his struggles persist.
He was not much more effective on the ground either, only mustering up 17 yards on 7 carries, an abysmal 2.4 yards per carry.
Winner: Edge Jaelan Phillips
If you could give a game ball to one player on Sunday night, it would be hard not to choose Jaelan Phillips.
Phillips was a game-wrecker for the Dolphins, as he racked up 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 quarterback hits. It was possibly Phillips’ most complete game as a Miami Dolphin. Having a player who can constantly generate that much pressure on his own can do wonders for an entire pass rush unit.
Kenny Pickett was flustered all night long as he threw 3 interceptions and was sacked twice. You can credit a lot of that to Jaelan Phillips, who is emerging as a key player on this defensive unit. The former first-round pick (out of Miami!) has 3 sacks in the last 4 games and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon.