The Miami Dolphins improved to 8-3 on the season in a 34-13 road win over the Jets on Black Friday. But despite the win, the Dolphins also came out with a loss by losing Jaelan Phillips for the season due to an Achilles injury.
Phillips was in the middle of a breakout season which included 6.5 sacks, 43 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 11 total QB hits, and you can't forget his first career interception.
To say that the Dolphins won't miss Phillips at all is silly. But that does not mean that fans should be as concerned as they are right now.
For the first time in a long time, the Dolphins defensive line is elite and has depth. It may not seem like it at first to most NFL fans, but when you think about it, their production has been one of the best in the league.
It all started with the addition of Bradley Chubb last season at the trade deadline. He was off to a slow start for the Dolphins in 2022, but he has been back to his true self this season and is showing why the Dolphins traded for him. So far in 2023, Chubb has recorded 6 sacks, 47 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, and 12 total QB hits.
On top of Chubb, you can not forget about the interior defensive linemen Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis, and Zach Sieler. All who are arguably having their best season as a Dolphin. Especially Wilkins, who is in his 4th season and is looking for a nice big contract from Miami this offseason.
The biggest question remains who will replace Phillips' production? But that may have been revealed earlier in the season when Phillips missed three different games due to injury.
It is Andrew Van Ginkel who usually gets the start when Phillips is out, and he is arguably the most underrated Dolphins defensive player. He has been a highly productive linebacker for years now who always seems to make a way to the quarterback. So far in 2023, Van Ginkel has 4 sacks, 42 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 10 total quarterback hits.
You also can not forget about Emmanuel Ogbah who is in his 4th season with the Dolphins, and Da'Shawn Hand who has been with the Lions for the past four seasons.
As if the in-house talent wasn't enough, the Dolphins also went out and signed free agent Jason Pierre-Paul on Tuesday. The veteran is in his 14th season and was a long star for the New York Giants. He has recently played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Baltimore Ravens, and a short stint for the New Orleans Saints this season.
Although Pierre-Paul isn't what he used to be, it is still a very nice signing for Miami who is just looking for more depth after losing Jaelan Phillips for the season. Look for Chubb, Wilkins, Davis, Sieler, Van Ginkel, Ogbah, and new addition Pieere-Paul to hold it down for the Dolphins.