The Miami Dolphins just keep winning with Tua Tagovailoa under center. The Dolphins improved to 7-3 and retook the AFC East lead in a 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. Here are a few winners and losers from the matchup:
Winner: Jeff Wilson Jr.
The former San Francisco 49er acquired via trade just over a week ago made his presence felt for the second time in two tries.
Wilson Jr. led the Dolphins with 17 carries for 119 yards to go along with a score on the ground. Wilson Jr. also had 2 catches for 24 yards. Since being acquired, Wilson Jr. has flourished in the role Chase Edmonds struggled to do anything in. He even out-touched starting back Raheem Mostert, 17 to 8.
Sending only a 2023 fifth-round pick seems like an absolute steal for the Dolphins if Wilson Jr. can keep up this production.
Loser: Cedrick Wilson
In such a crowded receiving room including the likes of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki, it is hard to find targets for the leftover guys. With that being said, the Dolphins do need a solid third wide receiver.
Cedrick Wilson did not make a strong case on Sunday.
Wilson was only targeted one time, for a catch of seven yards. He was also involved in a trick play which saw Wilson play the role of quarterback. Instead of letting the ball fly like a traditional quarterback, Wilson held onto the ball and took a drive-ending sack.
Unfortunately for Cedrick Wilson, Trent Sherfield made a much more compelling case for WR3 on Sunday, with 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on 5 targets.
Winner: Dolphins pass rush unit
The Dolphins harassed Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett all afternoon, culminating in 14 QB hits and 3 sacks.
It was a team effort as newly acquired Bradley Chubb registered three QB hits to go along with 0.5 sack, which he split with Jaelan Phillips — who had 2 QB hits himself. Christian Wilkins and Melvin Ingram each had a sack along with 3 QB hits respectively.
In a division with pass-heavy teams like Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, generating a consistent pass rush is absolutely key in winning late-season matchups. The Dolphins seem to be hitting their stride in pressuring the quarterback — and that is bad news for the AFC.
Loser: Jason Sanders
If there was one issue Dolphins fans had on Sunday, it was the missed extra points.
Jason Sanders is really struggling — and while it didn’t hurt Miami that much on Sunday, those points left on the field could be huge in close games down the road. Just last week in Chicago, Sanders missed a 29-yard field goal, a typically automatic three points for a kicker with a pulse.
Luckily, neither of his two rough outings affected the outcome of the games, but it is seriously concerning for a Dolphins team with legitimate deep playoff aspirations. Having a reliable kicker could actually be the difference in late-season and playoff games.
Sanders needs to get it together or Mike McDaniel needs to bring in some competition.
Winner: Tua Tagovailoa
Can you spell M-V-P?
Tua Tagovailoa improved to 7-0 as the starter for the Dolphins this season. The team’s only three losses came in games where Tua did not start or finish the game.
Tua was deadly efficient again, completing 25 of his 32 pass attempts for 285 yards and 3 more touchdowns — with no interceptions or sacks.
Even after missing three games, Tua is still first in the league in passer rating and quarterback rating, third in the league in passing touchdowns, and eleventh in the league in passing yards.
Tua and the Dolphins are absolutely rolling right now. If you spell out MVP, it stands for most valuable player. Who has been more valuable to their team than Tua — whose team is undefeated with him and winless without him?