Monday, January 25, 2021

Xavien Howard and DeVante Parker Impress Against Winless Jets

Xavien Howard and DeVante Parker were the standout performers as the Miami Dolphins got back to winning ways, with a 20-3 win over the New York Jets.

Brian Flores’ side were not at their best but did not need to be, with the Jets failing to get anything going on offense. Tight ends Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen got the two touchdowns and Jason Sanders continued to set records.

Let’s take a look at how the Dolphins got the win over the Jets and moved themselves to 7-4.

Defense Once Again Shines For The Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham after recording an interception against the New York Jets in week 12.

Quarterback Sam Darnold made a nice throw on 3rd and 9 to wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a 37 yard gain, which caused some room for concern. These fears were eased with less than 2 minutes later on the game-clock. The Jets were again on a third down, with only three yards for New York to gain. 

Darnold was sacked with ease by Miami safety Brandon Jones. The Jets would have to resort to a field goal. This showed early on, how effective Miami’s defense is on third downs stops.

Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain getting to the New York Jets offense.

This Dolphins defense would once again be effective on third down stoppage early on in the second quarter. The New York offense was on 3rd and 4 when the ball was snapped. 

Darnold appeared to have all the time in the world in the pocket, before scrambling to the right. Linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah put pressure on him before Darnold made the incomplete pass to rookie receiver Denzel Mims, who was covered well by Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard.

Xavien Howard and Denzel Mims.

With just one timeout left of the first half, the Jets had the ball in field goal territory and were on 3rd and 10 with just nineteen seconds left. Darnold made the pass towards Jamison Crowder, with defensive backs Eric Rowe, Brandon Jones and Nik Needham all managing to stop Crowder.

This forced the Jets to kick for the three points, which was subsequently missed by Jets kicker Sergio Castillo. These third down stops will be crucial when the Dolphins play teams such as the Chiefs. More importantly, this will be key in the upcoming games against division rivals such as the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills in the battle to win the AFC East.

Two interceptions would take place in the second half, recorded by Needham and Howard. Needham would get his pick early on in the third quarter, with Darnold escaping pressure on 3rd and 8 before throwing into to the hands of Needham.

Xavien Howard’s Dominant Day

Howard would get his interception midway through the fourth quarter, catching a Darnold pass on 2nd and 8. Howard had an impressive day, only allowing 37 yards all day from just three completions along with the interception.

Howard leads the league in interceptions (7) and is tied for second this season in passes defended (15). The likes of Jalen Ramsey, Stephon Gilmore and Jaire Alexander get talked about as some of the top cornerbacks in the league, but Howard has asserted himself this year as one of the best in his position.

Xavien Howard after recording the interception during the 20-3 win.

The Underrated Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki is fastly becoming one of the league’s most underrated tight ends. He doesn’t get the numbers or attention of the likes of George Kittle, Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce but he is affective when called upon. 

Gesicki caught one touchdown along with 35 yards from 2 catches in yesterday’s win. 

Mike Gesicki catching a touchdown in the end zone.

He caught for a crucial catch on third down. Fitzpatrick, who did a fine job in place of Tua Tagovailoa, threw to the left. He found Gesicki, who managed to catch it in bounds and earn some yards after catch for a 22 yard gain. 

His other catch would result in a touchdown. On 3rd and 8 with just over 9 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick found Gesicki with a beautifully timed pass to give Miami the lead. This is a lead that would stick with the Dolphins for the remainder of the game. 

The Kicking Excellence Of Jason Sanders

Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders during the 20-3
over the New York Jets.

Both of these catches would result in drives that end with a successful Jason Sanders kick. The first catch would end with a Sanders field goal from 54 yards. The other would be the extra point after Gesicki’s touchdown. 

Sanders is having an excellent season and has now successfully kicked for 24 from 25 this season. He is third so far this season across the league in field goals made. 

Sanders has also kicked for the most successful field goals made this season of 50 or more yards, with the kicker having now made 10 successful field goals for this distance. 

Jason Sanders in action for the Miami Dolphins during the win over the New York Jets.

DeVante Parker Excels

DeVante Parker was the main man on offense in the Jets win.

Parker would end the game with 119 yards from 8 receptions. Whilst he did not get a touchdown, he made some impressive catches. 

DeVante Parker in action on Sunday against the New Yoek Jets.

On the drive that led to the aforementioned Gesicki touchdown, Parker would be responsible for catching 3 of the 7 completed passes by Fitzpatrick. He accumulated 47 yards along the way in the drive. 

In the next Dolphins possession, there was an excellent yards after catch play from Parker. On 1st and 10, Fitzpatrick found Parker who caught the ball around the 35 yard line and managed to make it all the way to the 59 yard line. 

Parker would make another great yards after catch play in the third quarter. With the clock at 10:48, Fitzpatrick took the ball in the shotgun formation and found Parker. The wideout caught the ball just before the 38 yard line and managed to take the ball just around the 50 yard line.

Overall, the Miami Dolphins fans can be happy with this performance. It was not a perfect performance but the defense continued to dominate and there was some good individual performances on offense.

After the disappointment of last weekend’s loss to the Denver Broncos, it was important to just see a win. Next up is a Cincinnati Bengals side without Joe Burrow, which should hopefully guide Miami to 8-4.

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