This Dolphins team is on a good roll, and the youth portrayed above has a lot to do with that. Tua and Waddle on offense have been that dangerous connection, kind of what we hoped it could be, reuniting the two Alabama stars. Holland got the jump earlier than Phillips, but now both of these young players, rookies must be accounted for by opposing teams offenses. Holland is all over the field making plays while Phillips has spent a good deal of time in opposing team’s backfields. During the 4 game win streak, Phillips has 5 sacks, 7 QB hits, and 4 tackles for loss. Although Emmanuel Ogbah doesn’t have the sacks to show for it, Phillips benefits from the necessary attention Ogbah gets as his 6 sacks are just one half sack behind his bookend Phillips. Ogbah actually leads the team with 19 QB hits and 7 TFL. Now you have to pick your poison if you’re the opposing team’s OC. You can’t double both of them.
On the offensive side, this team has come alive. Tua is playing at a very high level, delivering the football much like Tom Brady, quickly, well placed in a manner that allows the receiver to get additional yardage. So many times I saw extremely accurate throws by Tua. In the last 3 games that Tua has played, (2nd half VS BAL, and then full games vs NYJ and CAR), Tua has completed 78% of his passes for 631 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT. All this good for a 108.91 QBR. The detractors will always be detractors. No matter. I watched 6’6 Cam Newton getting balls swatted time and time again against our defense, while 6’0 Tua delivered the ball quickly and on time, easily clearing the D-line. Tua’s awareness is obvious, he sees the field and his decision making is a high speed processor. By the way, there are still people who say Brady has a weak arm. Maybe he does, but the his other attributes easily make up for not having a cannon. Nothing wrong with having average NFL QB arm strength when you can make quick decisions and throw the ball accurately into windows. Cam Newton at one time could probably throw the ball 80 yards, but it was always Cam’s legs that were his best attribute.
Living in the Tri-State area my whole life, it’s hard not to have an affinity for the NY Giants. In the 80’s the NY Giants were one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, with Lawrence Taylor, Leonard Marshall, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Gary Reasons, and on offense, Phil Simms, Ottis Anderson , Mark Bavaro. That team personified toughness. Oh yeah, the architect of that defense, one Bill Belichick. If you lived in the Tri-State, you hated the Jets, but since the Giants were in the other conference, the NFC, you could admire them without consequence. I always did, still do. This current team is struggling to find its identity. The Giants are where we were just 4 weeks ago. They have played a fair amount of the season without their superstar RB Saquon Barkley healthy. He’s played in 7 games, but hasn’t been anywhere near 100%, and the O-line play hasn’t helped his cause either. His results have been pedestrian at best, 73 carries for 260 yards, 21 catches for another 174. Daniel Jones is also having an off year but his health has been a factor, as well as the health of Saquon and his WR’s. The explosive Kenny Golladay hasn’t been because the Giants haven’t been able to assemble weapons around him. Rookie Kadarius Toney has been hampered by injuries and TE Evan Engram, once a a dangerous receiver has really regressed.
The Dolphins, 3-3 at Hard Rock Stadium must win this week to keep any faint playoff hopes alive. We’ve been in this position near the end of the season many times and come up small. They say momentum doesn’t mean a lot in the NFL, but we’re playing our best football right now, if we can continue doing what we’ve been doing we should be one step closer to a .500 record, which normally would be meh, but when you lose 7 in a row, it’s quite impressive. If we do win, we have the BYE week to recuperate. In some ways I’d love top just keep playing and skip the BYE week because the team is on a roll and I want to keep it that way. On the flip side, it will allow players to heal up, and those guys can help us down the stretch. Players like DeVante Parker, Michael Deiter, Greg Mancz and I suppose Will Fuller too, although not sure if his head and heart are in it for us. Let’s get the W this week and we’ll worry about everything else later!