Monday, January 18, 2021

Dolphins efficient, unspectacular in win over LA

It wasn’t as exciting as last week’s stunning win over the Cardinals, but the Dolphins efficient performance against the LA Chargers is something we should come to expect more of moving forward. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Dolphins took the lead early and never looked back running out 29-21 winners.

Salvon Ahmed came within touching distance of becoming the Dolphins first 100 yard back since Kalen Ballage, in a game where ironically Kalen Ballage led the Chargers in rushing. Jakeem Grant took advantage of the extra snaps afforded with the injury to Preston Williams to record 4 catches for 43 yards and an early score.

Dolphins efficient, almost Patriot like

While the Dolphins efficient win will likely leave some feeling let down, it was exactly the kind of win that good teams put together. An early defensive stop, followed by a blocked punt that was clinically finished on the first offensive play with a one-yard run by Salvon Ahmed behind 6 linemen, and a lead block from Solomon Kindley at fullback.

After another chargers punt, Tua Tagovailoa guided the Dolphins efficient offence 88 yards in 13 plays, finished off with a 3-yard TD pass to Jakeem Grant. It was still the first quarter and it was already 14-0.

Dolphins efficient offence put up 14 quick first quarter points including a Jakeem Grant TD
Dolphins efficient offence put up 14 quick first quarter points including a Jakeem Grant TD

Another Chargers punt saw the Dolphins drive down into Chargers territory again, but a low snap from Ted Karras turned the momentum somewhat as the Chargers ran it back, and would score to bring the game within 7. However, the Dolphins drove for a FG to finish the half 17-7 and seemingly comfortable.

As has been the case for much of the season, the second half was a bit unspectacular. But while the offence didn’t explode the defence held firm. Xavien Howard registered his fifth interception of the season, and despite conceding 14 points, the Dolphins were mostly comfortable.

The Chargers put up a late TD to make the game seem closer than it was in reality. For while it wasn’t out of reach for most of the game, it always felt like the Dolphins were in control.

It was a game that had great undertones with those Patriots teams of years gone by where they took the lead and then did just enough to come out with a comfortable, efficient win. Expect to hear that word – efficient – a lot if the Brian Flores era is to be successful in Miami.

Tua won the battle of the rookie quarterbacks although he did have three very poor passes, two of which should have been picked off. But that’s the ups and downs of a rookie. He’s now 3-0 as a starter and at the end of the day that’s all the matters.

With the Dolphins efficient there were less chances for the Chargers to come back, and more time for Dolphins fans to celebrate.

1st Downs1917
Passing 1st downs1010
Rushing 1st downs96
1st downs from penalties01
3rd down efficiency4-135-14
4th down efficiency2-30-0
Total Plays6357
Total Yards273280
Total Drives1111
Yards per Play4.34.9
Passing174169
Comp-Att20-3215-25
Yards per pass5.16.8
Interceptions thrown10
Sacks-Yards Lost2-130-0
Rushing99111
Rushing Attempts2932
Yards per rush3.43.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-33-5
Penalties5-313-15
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost01
Interceptions thrown10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:5430:06

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