Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on the Miami Dolphins Yet
2 minutes and 54 seconds.
That’s how long it took for the Miami Dolphins to score their first seven points against the Houston Texans and they never looked back. The drive was 88 yards long, it only took six plays to score, and it was capped off by a 47-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews.
Matthews who was listed as a fifth-stringer on the depth chart last season and the beginning of the season is now the second option on the team, and on his way to a 1,000-yard season after finally getting a chance to play. Matthews this season has 26 catches, 438 yards, and four touchdowns. It’s the best season of his professional career and Matthews is doing it during a contract season. After this year, he’s going to earn himself a great contract.
— Muney (@OfficialMuney) October 25, 2015
Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins have won two straight games. Last season the Dolphins only won back to back games once last year, when they won three straight games against Chicago, Jacksonville, and San Diego. This year they’ve already managed to do it and it’s only their sixth game.
Standing at 3-3 and only a few games out of first place could this Dolphins team upset the New England Patriots on Thursday and narrow the record gap? Is it still too late to win the AFC East?
They say that in order to win a division the most important thing is to pack a defense that can travel in any weather. The Miami Dolphins defense has finally awakened and they look furious. The Dolphins defense has been making it a living nightmare for opposing quarterbacks since Dan Campbell has taken over as head coach.
Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota got introduced into the NFL when he played against Miami and had the worst game of his career. Mariota took a huge 38-10 home loss and he had two interceptions during the process. Cameron Wake in the game had four sacks and Olivier Vernon added in another one (more on the defensive line later).
Against Houston, Brian Hoyer was the defense’s latest victim and he looked out of it. The Dolphins defense came to play and they made it a routine to make Hoyer uncomfortable in the pocket all day long. Hoyer was 23-of-49 for an awful 46.9 completion percentage, a 76.3 quarterback rating, a 26.7 QBR, and he also threw an interception for a touchdown return.
The Patriots haven’t played against a defense, or a team that’s been on this type of roll in the regular season. Now with the extra rest because of the blowout against Houston, best believe that the Dolphins will be competing with high energy in New England even in the cold weather.
One of the biggest ways to get under Tom Brady’s skin is to make him play at a faster pace than he’s accustomed to. Brady likes to methodically look at his options and throw the football in the pocket when he sees the advantage. Brady does an excellent job of dissecting a defense as soon as he sees them lineup on the field so he’s quick to find out where the advantage is. However, thanks to Dan Campbell lighting a fire under his players, it’s safe to say the Dolphins will come prepared to get under Brady’s skin. If the Dolphins can get pressure to Brady it will be a very long night for the future hall of fame.
The defensive line finally looks stout enough to take on any challengers. Since Campbell’s taken over, Ndamukong Suh has made the defensive line play at an extremely high level. Suh has been a force in the middle wreaking havoc and he’s managed to get two sacks and three tackles for loss. With the presence of Suh being a force in the middle, its’s opened up lanes for the rest of the defense to have fun as well. Cameron Wake has six sacks in two games. Oliver Vernon has one sack in two games. Reshard Jones has two interceptions and a touchdown in two games and Brent Grimes also has a pick. Furthermore, the Dolphins haven’t allowed their opponents to score more than 20 points.
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2015
This next game against New England is one of the Dolphins biggest games of the year because they need to defeat the Patriots twice if they want to win the AFC East. This also could send a message to everyone that this team isn’t dead yet.
Many people were in the stands and couldn’t believe their eyes after watching the Dolphins rout the Texans at home. Those same people are going to have difficulty seeing after the Dolphins play on Thursday night because an upset is brewing.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.