Monday, January 25, 2021

Miami Dolphins Show Promise Despite Loss

The Miami Dolphins lost their fifth game of the season, in a 33-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The game looked dead and buried at the start of the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs up 30-10.

However, we saw Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins drastically improve in the final quarter. Sadly, they left it too late to complete the full comeback.

Defense Gets To Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes in action against the Miami Dolphins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Patrick Mahomes threw for the more interceptions (3) in this game than he has in all his previous games this season combined. The last time he threw for 3 interceptions in one game was back in 2018. This was the famous 54-51 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Miami defense has been excellent this season and they found a way to get to Mahomes. This kept Miami in the game. The Dolphins led 10-0 before the Chiefs decided to turn up on offense. This was ultimately the difference, with the Chiefs outperforming the Fins in the second and third quarter.

Kansas City seems to turn to a different offensive weapon each week. This week it was tight end Travis Kelce who recorded big yardage. The Miami defense allowed Kelce to catch for 136 yards and one touchdown from 8 interceptions.

Tyreek Hill was also allowed to catch for 79 yards and one touchdown from 3 receptions. He also recorded 1 rushing touchdown from one carry.

Tyreek Hill had one rushing and one receiving touchdown during the win.

His touchdown was a 44-yard pass from Mahomes.

Despite allowing these big plays, the defense was excellent in the first and fourth quarters. With the game scoreless in the first quarter, on 3rd and 12, Mahomes was sacked by linebacker Jerome Baker for a 30-yard loss.

Patrick Mahomes taking a sack after being forced for a 30 yard loss by Jerome Baker and the Miami defense.

Baker had a great day, getting 2.5 of the 3 sacks recorded by Miami in the game.

The Dolphins made some huge stoppages in the fourth quarter to keep the Dolphins in the game, which almost worked. This included a brilliant one-handed interception from Xavien Howard with just over 14 minutes remaining. This allowed Miami to get a touchdown in the resulting drive and keep them in the game.

Tua’s Improvement Throughout The Game

Tua in action against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tua Tagovailoa struggled in the second and third quarter, showing some true rookie moments.

The rookie quarterback took a safety but this was not capitalised on by the Chiefs who recorded two punts and an interception in their next three possessions. This could have easily been punished by the Chiefs.

He showed signs he is the future of the franchise as he led the team to some great drives in the fourth quarter, before a late field goal from Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker sealed the game for Kansas City.

Tagovailoa threw for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns along with his first NFL interception, the honour going to Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Tua and Mahomes.

Tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver Lynn Bowden were Tua’s most trusted weapons on offense. Gesicki recorded two touchdowns before an injury ended his day. Bowden recorded 82 receiving yards.

Overall Thoughts On The Miami Dolphins

Miami can be happy with the performance despite the loss. Whilst we all know that the Mahomes was not at his best, Tua also had room for improvement. Should both teams meet again in the playoffs, the Dolphins should take confidence that their defense can win them games. With Tua getting better throughout the game, he can get better during the rest of the season. This could help the Fins capitalise on turnovers in the playoffs, something we did not see much of in tonight’s loss.

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