The Dolphins pasted the New York Jets 34-13 despite another sloppy offensive performance that saw another two Tua Tagovailoa interceptions.
However, since the arrival of Jalen Ramsey the Dolphins defence has taken a leap to a whole other level and despite the offensive struggles this game was never in doubt in the second half. So let’s get down to our two takeaways from this Black Friday massacre.
DOLPHINS OFFENCE NEEDS TO GET SOME ANSWERS
It’s no secret anymore how you slow down this Miami Dolphins offense. You play two-deep and make them play everything shorter. And that means that you have to be more patient, and more selective on your throws. It’s the same thing that everyone started doing to the Chiefs after the Bucs did it to them in the Super Bowl.
The big issue for Miami is that Tua seems to get frustrated that there aren’t as many big plays available. He has just three games with no interceptions this season, and has three in his last two games against the Raiders and Jets. In fact, he threw the Jets only TD pass of the game.
Tua’s average depth of target was only 5.3 against the Jets as they made sure the big plays over the top weren’t there. And that did lead to adjustments from Head Coach Mike McDaniel in the second half, involving a lot more rushing.
“Coming into the second half, I was very proud of how we were operating offensively,” McDaniel said. “When we did get opportunities from the defense, we stayed in a long drive and ended that with points. Very proud of our O-line. Very proud of our run game. And very proud of this team. It’s hard to win road games, especially against a team like this, a division game. Very proud of our guys.”
This may be harder against better teams if the Dolphins line continues to be banged up.
DEFENCE IS LEGIT, BUT WILL MISS PHILLIPS
This Dolphins defence is genuine championship calibre. Jalen Ramsey has given up a QB Rating of 0.0 since taking over the starting role and has a team leading three interception already. But make no mistake Jaelan Phillips will be a huge miss for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
Phillips is always dispruptive and his spot will likely be filled by a committee that will include Ogbah, and van Ginkel. It’s easy to forget Emmanuel Ogbah had a great season for the Dolphins in 2021 because he really hasn’t seen the field much since then. Not playing him has been a little strange, but now he will get his chance.
Ogbah already has 3.5 sacks on the season, despite playing only 89 pass rush snaps, and forced a fumble against the Jets. The big issue with him is that the Dolphins will need him to be consistent which could be the issue.