Defense was the story last week as the Dolphins played their best game of 2020 with a total and complete dismantling of the San Francisco 49ers. QB Jimmy Garoppolo probably wished he waited one more week to come back, and I’d bet HC Kyle Shanahan wishes he didn’t put Jimmy G. in either because he clearly looked like he wasn’t ready to play. The Dolphins defense hounded Jimmy G. and his wobbly ankle yielded wobbly throws and he was unable to escape the rush which was heavy all day. 5 sacks total to boost the yearly total to 14 sacks. Don’t spit on that guys, that’s a legit improvement from last season where we managed a season’s total of 23. Our current pace for sacks put us at 45, which is unlikely, but either way puts us close to doubling last year’s output. The rush came from everywhere, inside with Elandon Roberts, Jerome Baker and Zach Sieler and outside with Van Ginkle and Ogbah. Add in 3 turnovers, 2 INT’s (Xavien Howard) and 1 fumble recovery (Christian Wilkins) and it was great day for the defense.
Now on to the offense which by the way, also came to play. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards with 3 TD’s and zero INT’s. The run game was merely a complement, Myles Gaskin rushed 16 times for 57 yards and 1 TD and they sprinkled in a little of Breida and a rush or two from Bowden and Grant. RB Jordan Howard was healthy scratch. Now there is talk of the possibility of the Dolphins signing former Steeler and Jets RB Le’Veon Bell. At the moment of this writing, Bell has narrowed it down to 3 teams, the Bills, Chiefs and Dolphins. Does adding Le’Veon Bell make us a playoff contender? I suppose it depends on how we use him. The 2 RB’s we acquired in the offseason are basically spectators to the Myles Gaskin show. Breida and Howard have 114 yards rushing combined on 35 caries while Gaskin has 64 carries and 249 yards rushing. Bell looked anything but a top tier back in NY this season and last night but i9njuries have hampered him. He has only 19 carries this season and really is quite far removed from the elite RB he was in Pittsburgh all the way back in 2017. Personally, I’d say he was more of a product of that offense, having a great run blocking O-line, also catching passes from Roethlisberger when plays broke down and having WR’s Antonio Brown (in his prime) along with Martavis Bryant . So many times Big Ben extended the play and found Bell for a hige gain because the field was cleared out by Brown and Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Is it possible he’s that same player? I wouldn’t bet on it.
The Dolphins will play a late game this week (4PM) due to COVID-19 rescheduling. The Jets come in to Miami at a low point of their season. They are 32nd in scoring at 15 PPG and 32nd in defense allowing 32.2 PPG. Just dreadful. Last week we beat a team not at their best, and we put our foot on their neck. We need to do the same this week. Yes, the Jets cut Le’Veon Bell but may be getting 2 receivers back, Breshad Perriman (ankle) and Denzel Mims (IR hamstring). Both WR’s would be a boost to an anemic Jets offense that has featured Jamison Crowder, Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios and TE Chris Herndon. Sam darnold has had a difficult season to say the least, the O-line pass protection has been leaky and he doesn’t really have a reliable receiver to throw to. He’s been sacked 12 times and has thrown 3 TD’s against 4 INT’s. HC Adam Gase is beyond dead man walking, yet this is a game if the guy has any juice left that he would try to get his team to compete in. Right now the Jets have to be included as a favorite to land next year’s prized possession in the NFL Draft, QB Trevor Lawrence and a win could put that in jeopardy as the hapless Atlanta falcons share an 0-5 record.
LB Kyle Van Noy is questionable to play this week with a groin injury. He played last week against the Niners but that’s a tough injury to play through. Sam Eguavoen would replace Van Noy if he can’t go. We also lost DT Davon Godchaux with a torn biceps and this should give DT Raekwon Davis a lot more snaps along with Brandon Sieler who has been fantastic in a Dolphins uniform. Sieler has played 38% of the snaps this season already and I expect that will increase significantly this week with Godchaux out. Mike Gesicki finally was more involved in the offense and I hope that continues. He averaged over 18 YPC last week on 5 receptions so we need to keep feeding him the ball. I honestly don’t expect Bell to be a Miami Dolphins, my guess is the Bills. Either way, hope we make the right decision.