Dolphins Defense Dominates in 28-17 Victory, Tua Makes his Debut
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It was not the game we were expecting, or frankly even hoping for, but a win is a win, and Brian Flores’ defense is for real. After acquiring his type of guys in the offseason; Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah, Shaq Lawson, Byron Jones, Elandon Roberts, and more, the unit has clearly gelled.
Miami faced the Los Angeles Rams and smothered them defensively, exposing Jared Goff and showing his clear limitations. Flores dialed up the pressure and his players executed en route to 2 sacks, 2 fumbles (one recovered for a TD), as well as 2 interceptions with potentially a few more which were dropped.
The Dolphins have shown that they can match up with a variety of opponents, and save injuries down the stretch, the entire unit can still get better. Opportunities to force turnovers seem to be going up each week as the players get comfortable in their roles and assignments. There is less thinking and more balling.
Jerome Baker led the team in tackles with 13, and both Ogbah and Lawson contributed sacks. Eric Rowe and Christian Wilkins each had an interception as Flo saw contributions all across the defense during the 28-17 victory.
I know, we have buried the lead. Miami’s matchup against Los Angeles also marked Tua Tagovailoa’s NFL debut as a starter. There was much left to be desired but it was not alarming by any respect. Tua finished the game throwing 12/22, 93 yards, and a beautiful touchdown strike to DeVante Parker. He only had an 80.3 passer rating per ESPN and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite metric.
He did not get a lot of help from his offensive line as he was often under duress, but as the game progressed he appeared to make quick and decisive decisions to get the ball out of his hands. Myles Gaskin looks to be a featured part of this offense moving forward.
The Dolphins move to 4-3 and are over .500 for the first time since December of 2018. They are 2.5 games back from the Bills who sit atop the division at 6-2, but at the very least Dolphins fans can take solace in being 2 games up on the 2-5 Patriots.
Yes, 2-5 New England Patriots. What a time to be alive.
The Dolphins will face the Arizona Cardinals next week which should be a tough test for this defense as Kyler Murray is capable of making a big play on any given snap, with either his whip of an arm or his dynamic running ability. Regardless, the team will be able to enjoy their 4-3 record and 3 game win streak to start November.