Remember the old cliché “When life gives you lemons…”? Well, it seems that the Dolphins this year are the epitome of this. I was amazed while watching last Sunday’s 20-3 victory against the Jets at MetLife with all of the backups stepping up and performing when needed.
Let’s start with the best backup QB in the NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Without missing a beat, he was ready to step up and fill in for rookie starter Tua Tagovailoa, and for the most part performed admirably. Early in the game, I noticed he was a little off the mark throwing behind or over the heads of the receivers, but his timing improved when it counted and made great decisions. The one thing that Fitz excels at over Tua is knowing when to release the ball and avoid the sack. He was sacked 4 times, but in the second half the Jets defense was calling the “jail break” on just about every down.
The Miami Dolphins web site posted an interesting graphic regarding the percentage of snaps by player, and this is indicative of how Fitz was spreading the ball around. Check this out:
11 receivers and backs in total were targeted. Compare that with 6 for the Jets in total.
It was also nice to see RB DeAndre Washington step up for 49 yards rushing when it counted. The last drive ate up the clock and truly put the game out of reach. Guaranteed Coach Flores will work on the excessive fumbles (2 lost is two too many). The team’s discipline regarding penalties was exemplary again, only getting flagged 3 times for 20 yards.
The defense, lead by “X Man” Xavier Howard, performed well again against a very lethargic Sam Darnold offense. A little work is ahead in improving the run defense, which will be needed in the December run.
I had a big smile on my face at the end of the game that this will finally be the last time we have to see Adam Gase again.
Miami is home now for the next three weeks, facing the Bengals, Chiefs, and a rematch with the Patriots respectively. I have learned not to make any predictions (I wish the TV pre-game show talking heads would quit doing it as well and embarrassing themselves), but this team seems to step up for the big games (LA Rams, Arizona, San Francisco). The last game of the season, in Buffalo, in January, cannot get any bigger.
I am so proud of our Dolphins this year. The second youngest team in the NFL with the second year coach is turning a lot of heads. Before the season even started, we lost Hurns and Wilson who opted out, Preston Williams and Miles Gaskin going down to injuries, and all of this on top of a global pandemic. Miami has certainly taking this basket of lemons and made a great lemonade to savor this season. The only sour is the teams that have to play us and lose. No matter the outcome, we can call 2020 a success, but 6 more games to play and hopefully more to come.
See you Sunday Finatics! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at game time. Go Dolphins!