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Miami Dolphins

The Aftermath: Dolphins 20, Bills 37

Travis Wingfield

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Snap Counts, Grades, Odds of Landing the First Pick and Other Phins Notes

Foreword:

As we develop a weekly content schedule for the season, I wanted something to bridge the gap between the Sunday night game breakdown column and the Tuesday film review. So, here we are with a smorgasbord of information, statistics, snap counts, and whatever is prudent to the Dolphins game from the Sunday prior.

We’ll dive into the game data from Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, grab some quotes from the player’s and coach’s pressers, and continue to provide the most comprehensive coverage on the Miami Dolphins you can find.

Dolphins-Bills

Team Stats

The pendulum swung back the other direction this weekend for Dolphins fans. Coming off a two-game winning streak, with uncertainty cast over Miami’s likely preferred draft target, the Dolphins from September came back into the fold.

Way too many penalties, missed tackles, and zero pass protection made for a game that was tough on the eyes. Jakeem Grant’s blazing speed, and the big plays of Devante Parker kept Miami competitive until late, but this game was out of reach almost from the onset.

Josh Allen’s been a thorn in this team’s side through four career games, much in the way Tyrod Taylor caused headaches for Miami for three years. Allen played a part in reverting Miami’s progress back towards the wrong direction.

The Dolphin D now ranks 29th in total defense, 20th in passing, 31st in rushing, and 31st in scoring defense.

After a difficult day getting ball carriers down, Miami have the 10th-fewest missed tackles (still a top 5 tackle percentage rate). The Dolphins rank 28th in pressure percentage, 11th in QB knockdown percentage, and 9th in blitz rate.

On offense Sunday, things got out of hand. Off the top, the Dolphins rank 29th in total offense, 28th in passing, 32nd in rushing, and 31st in scoring. Miami are 30th in yards per play, and are tied for dead last with 42 sacks allowed (Titans).

The Dolphins are 25th in third-down conversion percentage; the red zone climbed to 13th with a 60.9% touchdown conversion rate.

Offense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of offensive snaps)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 69 (100%)
RB Kalen Ballage 53 (76.8%)
RB Patrick Laird 16 (23.3%)
RB Myles Gaskin 7 (10.1%)
FB Chandler Cox 4 (5.8%)
WR Devante Parker 62 (90.0%)
WR Allen Hurns 60 (87.0%)
WR Albert Wilson 36 (52.2%)
WR Jakeem Grant 30 (43.5%)
WR Gary Jennings 1 (1%)
TE Mike Gesicki 59 (85.5%)
TE Durham Smythe 8 (11.6%)
TE Clive Walford 6 (8.7%)
OL Michael Deiter 69 (100%)
OL Daniel Kilgore 69 (100%)
OL Jesse Davis 69 (100%)
OL Evan Boehm 67 (97.1%)
OL Julie’n Davenport 52 (75.4%)
OL J’Marcus Webb 17 (24.6%)
OL Keaton Sutherland 5 (7.2%)

 

Trading Laremy Tunsil brought back tremendous value to the Dolphins, but it created the largest hole on the Miami roster. Julie’n Davenport’s 2019 season is memorable for all the wrong reasons. He’s played two games, allowed 10 pressures, and exited both games with an injury. Sunday, he surrendered six pressures (2 sacks) and had a run-blocking grade below 50.

His replacement wasn’t better. J’Marcus Webb played 17 snaps and allowed three pressures of his own (one sack). That’s nine pressures on 52 drop backs, good for a 17.3% pressure rate just from the left tackle position alone.

Michael Deiter only allowed two pressures, but they were both sacks. PFF thought the rest of his game was good, as he earned an even 75.0 grade despite the two sacks (can’t say I agree with that mark).

Jesse Davis got in on the act with five pressures of his own, while Evan Boehm surrendered six — both allowed one sack each.

Devante Parker had a career day. He averaged just under 20-yard-per-catch, and posted 135 yards on just nine targets — good for a YPT of 15, also a career-high. Parker drew Buffalo’s best cover-guy (Tre White) for five targets, and Parker caught all five for 80 receiving yards.

Patrick Laird earned a 90.5 receiving grade and a 16.7 pass blocking grade. If he wants to earn more playing time, he needs the latter number to improve substantially. Three of his six receptions moved the chains.

Jakeem Grant caught all three of his targets for 32 yards, and Albert Wilson had a season-high 26 receiving yards.

Allen Hurns was two mistakes away from instantly justifying Miami’s faith in the contract extension. He caught four of his six targets for 53 yards, but the fumble to end the first half was crippling. Hurns, Mike Gesicki, Kalen Ballage and Myles Gaskin were all credited with a drop each.

Ballage failed to top two yards per carry, and an average of two yards after contact again. He rushed nine times for nine yards with just 1.78 yards after contract per carry.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was stellar with a clean pocket. He completed 23/30 passes for 273 yards without pressure. He took seven sacks and completed 9/15 with 50 yards against pressure.

Defense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of defensive snaps)
DL Christian Wilkins 55 (77.5%)
DL Davon Godchaux 52 (73.2%)
DL Avery Moss 44 (62.0%)
DL John Jenkins 29 (70.1%)
LB Jerome Baker 71 (100%)
LB Vince Biegel 56 (78.9%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 33 (46.5%)
LB Charles Harris 27 (38.0%)
LB Trent Harris 15 (21.1%)
DB Nik Needham 70 (98.6%)
DB Eric Rowe 70 (98.6%)
DB Jomal Wiltz 63 (88.7%)
DB Ken Crawley 63 (88.7%)
DB Reshad Jones 47 (66.2%)
DB Bobby McCain 42 (59.2%)
DB Steven Parker 31 (43.7%)
DB Ryan Lewis 9 (12.7%)
DB Chris Lammons 6 (8.5%)

 

Nik Needham was the defense’s highest-graded player for the second consecutive game. He allowed a long touchdown, but competed to the tune of five catches allowed on 11 targets (45.5%) for 85 yards. He made six more tackles, three for run stops.

Since assuming a starting job three weeks ago, Needham has a pick, a sack, five pass breakups, 21 total tackles and nine of those for a run-stop (2-yard gain or less). Impressive work from the rookie.

Christian Wilkins had the next best grade. He made four total tackles (one for a run-stop) and had one QB pressure.

Davon Godchaux was right behind Wilkins in the grade, but I would object to that fact. Godchaux made seven total tackles, four of those for run-stops. He also had two QB pressures.

Bobby McCain had a day to forget. He was Miami’s lowest-graded player, missing two crucial tackles, and allowing receptions on both targets for 39 yards and a touchdown.

Jerome Baker made 11 total tackles with seven run-stops, yet was tabbed with an ugly 52.0 run-defense grade.

Hip, Hip-Hop, Hip-Hopanonymous!

Dolphins fans set their sights on the draft after the season-opener, if not after the week-two beat down at the hands of the Patriots. The last three weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions as Miami have flirted with losing out on any hope of drafting the nation’s best quarterback.

Now, after a pair of wins, and a near-guarantee that the first pick will belong to the Bengals, it was a serious injury that puts Miami back in the Tua Tagovailoa sweepstakes.

Reports are that Tua will make a full recovery and could even play football next season. The 6-8-month recovery period, before he can resume football activities, makes for a window between mid-May and mid-July — meaning he’ll be available for training camp.

This is probably the only way Miami was going to have a chance to draft the star quarterback. With Cincinnati and Washington in full-on give up mode on the season, it’s difficult to imagine Miami doing better than the third pick come April.

Where Tua was likely to be long gone by the time Miami selected, now they are almost assured to get a crack at the Alabama Quarterback. It’s a risk, no doubt, but positive words continue to file in from the doctor’s surrounding Tua’s treatment plan. He had surgery Monday in Houston and the long-term prognosis was described as “excellent” from the doctors executing the procedure. There are even reports suggesting that he might be cleared to play in April.

That bodes well for a player that has every tool you could want at the position. Priest Holmes once suffered a hip dislocation. All he did was come back with 27 rushing touchdowns the following season. C.J. Mosley suffered a hip dislocation in the 2012 National Championship Game, that didn’t stop him from coming off the board in the first round two years later.

The Bo Jackson injury was different, in that he continued to play on the injury and further advanced the damage.

The Dolphins have a choice to make. Take the gamble on Tua Tagovailoa, with all the draft capital imaginable to rectify that mistake — if it becomes one — or play the safe route and hope that inferior quarterbacks can get to the level Tua’s at when he’s healthy.

This injury doesn’t change the fact that there’s a big gap between Tua and the rest of the 2020 quarterback class.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Extend DeVante Parker

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest-tenured players on the team may very well be a Miami Dolphin for life.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins have extended DeVante Parker through the 2023 season.

All of the details are still being flushed out, but the deal is a 4-year, $40m extension, with an $8m signing bonus (which is guaranteed).

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Parker will earn $4.5m guaranteed in 2020, and $7.7m guaranteed in 2021.

Parker signs this extension in the middle of a career year. His 55 catches are 1 shy of his career-high (56, 2016), his 882 receiving yards surpass his prior career-high by 138 yards (2016), and his 6 touchdowns are only 3 less than his career total coming into the 2019 season.

Whether it’s Chad O’Shea‘s offense, a shift in Quarterback mentality, or the receiver finally coming into his own, Parker has shown that he can be a #1 receiver in this offense. Though some fans may be hoping for DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. “elite”, the truth is, Parker isn’t that far behind.

His extension is in line with his production, and it’s fair to say that Parker’s potential still hasn’t been tapped. It’ll be interesting to see how much Parker builds off of his career-year, especially if the Dolphins can solidify their offensive line and give their receivers a chance to get open (more often).

Parker joins Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey as the only other 1st-round picks drafted this decade to have signed an extension with the team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins roster move round-up: Week 15 sees several more changes

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Linden Stephens
Linden Stephens defending Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins continue to change up the roster

The Miami Dolphins have continued their roster churning in Week 15, leading up to their prizefight against the New York Giants on December 15.

While it’s been a mainstay strategy for the Dolphins this year, to comb over the waiver wire and the free agency market, there was a significant uptick in waiver wire awards last, totaling four new players being claimed.

Last week’s claimed players included Trevor Davis, Mack Hollins, Zach Zenner, and Zach Sieler. Zenner’s Miami stint was short-lived; he was waived on Tuesday, December 10 to make room for the newest wave of Dolphins signees.

Along with Zenner’s release, the Miami Dolphins added cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis to the Injured Reserve list.

Those three transactions allowed the Dolphins to scoop a player from the New England Patriots’ practice squad, defensive back Nate Brooks, a second player from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, linebacker Jamal Davis II, and a third player, offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers.

Nate Brooks is a rookie defensive back that played at North Texas and has spent time with the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

Jamal Davis II is also a rookie. He entered the league from Akron. As mentioned above, he spent time with the Titans earlier this year before the Miami Dolphins signed him.

Adam Pankey is the most traveled player the Dolphins have added. Pankey went undrafted in 2017 out of West Virginia and has had two runs with the Packers and a short one with the Titans.

On December 7, cornerback Linden Stephens was added to the roster in a last-minute shuffle before the Dolphins-Jets game. Cornerback Chris Lammons was released to make room for Stephens on the squad, per Adam Beasley.

Stephens has had tenures with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He formerly played at Cincinnati in college.

In practice squad news, cornerback Rashard Causey was added to the group on December 12, per Safid Deen. Causey played college ball at UCF and has spent time with the Denver Broncos.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Giants Week 15 Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins set to run it back in New York

Who: Dolphins (3-10) @ Giants (2-11)
When: Sunday December 15, 1:00 East
Where: MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, NJ
Weather: 35 degrees, partly cloudy
Vegas Slant: Dolphins +3

DolphinsGiants

The Miami Dolphins did not equip Brian Flores with a competitive roster for the 2019 season. Despite taking a path traveled by nobody else in the league, Miami sits with a better record than three teams in the league, and Sunday will pit the Fins up against one of those teams.

The Giants thought they were constructing a playoff roster that could run the football behind former number-two overall pick Saquon Barkley, and disrupt both the run and pass with an influx of high resources spent on the defensive line.

Even with half the cash payroll of the next lowest team on that notorious list, and 11 of its original opening day starters gone for one reason or another, Miami enter a week-15 road game as mere three-point dogs.

Still, with three or four new bodies working into the rotation every week, Brian Flores’ Dolphins have won three games since the bye week, and been within a score in the fourth quarter for all nine games.

Does either team want to win this game? Of course the players and coaches will want to be rewarded for a long, arduous work week, but what good does a victory do in the grand scheme of things? Flores has proven that he can coach his ass off, while Pat Shurmur is assured to lose his job whatever happens these final three weeks.

The cost, for the Giants, could be Chase Young. For Miami, perhaps even more severe as the best quarterback prospect of the last several years could suddenly be available because of medical concerns, should the team land in the top five.

A victory Sunday will likely remove Miami from that perch as the Lions and Cardinals are both underdogs, and would each jump the Dolphins with a one-game difference in the standings.

The Scheme:

Offense:

Mike Shula’s scheme is as 11-personnel heavy as any in the league, but things have changed due to injuries. Without Evan Ingram to provide the ultimate flexibility between 11 and 12-personnel packages, the Giants have lacked much variety in his absence. Using 81% one back, one tight end (3rdmost in football), Miami will be afforded the opportunity to get creative on defense altering its pre-snap look from the same package.

The Giants are successful on just 41% of their plays from this personnel grouping, including 12 interceptions, 31 sacks and just 6.6 yards per passing play. New York only runs one other package (12-personnel) and also doesn’t have a lot of success out of that grouping. Adhering to old school principles, the Giants don’t throw from run formations, and the predictability has the Giants averaging just 5.7 YPA from 12-personnel.

The Giants rank 26th in total offense, 22nd in passing, 26th in rushing and 25th in scoring.

Defense:

James Bettcher is a fan of sending pressure, and he will certainly try to heat up Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Fitzpatrick might have the last laugh with his ability to get the ball hot to the interior receivers working in behind the linebackers and winning one-on-one matchups with a young defensive backfield.

The Giants base is a 3-4 look, but elements of that defense are always sparingly used because of the nature of modern day football. Bettcher wants to get pressure out of his outside backers in Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, using his interior backers in a more traditional, off-ball sense.

New York blitzes 28.7% of the time — exactly the middle of the pack at 16th— but it’s safe to assume they’ll turn that number up on Sunday. The G-Men are in the middle of the pack in hurry rate, knockdown rate and pressure rate. The Giants 94 missed tackles are 13th most in the league.

The Giants rank 27th in total defense 26th in passing, 20th in rushing and 28th in scoring defense.

The Players:

Offense:

Eli Manning is Eli Manning. The Giants hung onto him for three years too long, and his storied career appears to be coming to an end in three weeks. Filling in for the injured Daniel Jones gives the Miami defense a chance to tee off on a quarterback for the first time since the home win over Sam Darnold and the New York Jets.

Manning can’t move, he can’t drive the ball, and there’s really no reason for him to be on a roster at this point. The Dolphins will hit him, turn him over, and dominate the Giants offense is he plays.

New York funneled a lot of resources into its offensive line, and it’s still one of the worst in football. Miami lacks true pass rushers, so it’ll be up to the stunts and games up front to get pressure. Expect Flores to blitz Manning relentlessly, likely with a lot of zero looks.

Holding Saquon Barkley has been easier for opponents this year. A lot of the Giants running game gets Barkley going horizontally, and he’s been able to make the big plays due to poor blocking and a nasty ankle sprain earlier in the year.

This game will be a big test for Taco Charlton, Vince Biegel, Andrew Van Ginkel, Charles Harris and the rest of the Miami edge players.

Defense:

Markus Golden stands to wreck this game for Miami. He’ll come down off the offense’s left edge, and that position has been an issue for the Dolphins all year long. Sliding protection and using a back or tight end to chip Golden is the only way Fitzpatrick will have any time to throw.

On the inside, the Giants offer the beef that Miami’s interior line struggles with the most. Dexter Lawrence is massive, and those are the kind of players that give Daniel Kilgore problems up front.

Alec Ogletree remains a focal point of the Giants defense, and that presents a lot of opportunities for the Dolphins. Look for Miami to empty out the backfield from 12 and 11-personnel, find Ogletree in coverage, and go to work.

The New York secondary is full of inexperience. Rookie DeAndre Baker has worn the rabbit hat (teams go after him) all year long while Janoris Jenkins appears to have past his prime.

This is a slow defense and I’d be surprised if Chad O’Shea doesn’t have his way with it in the passing game.

The Medical:

(Coming Friday)

The Opportunities:

If Devante Parker can go, there isn’t a player in the Giants defensive backfield that can handle his skill set. Regardless, Miami’s passing schemes will create opportunities for whichever players are healthy, especially Allen Hurns inside on mismatches from 12-personnel against linebackers. Patrick Laird should draw some favorable matchups in the passing game in his own right — expect a big day for The Intern.

If it’s Eli, expect a lot of pressure sent to overwhelm a bad Giants line and quarterback. If it’s Daniel Jones, expect Miami to play coverage and take the ball away from the rookie. Either way, this is the day the Dolphins defense gets healthy.

The Concerns:

The Giants skill players can make some noise. Darius Slayton’s speed is a problem, and he’s been producing regardless of who’s under center. The Dolphins added yet another pair of defensive backs to the injured reserve, and that’ll provide a challenge against Slayton, Golden Tate and Sterling Sheppard.

Miami haven’t been able to block many pass rushes, and they’ve created almost nothing by way of the ground game, so the Giants talented front is an issue. There will be one-on-one opportunities aplenty for Markus Golden, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams.

The Projected Outcome:

It doesn’t matter if it’s Daniel Jones or Eli Manning. Both are going to give the Dolphins defense opportunities to take the football away, and neither presents much fear to a unit that is full of undrafted free agents are largely unknowns. Manning doesn’t have the physical traits to scare anyone and Jones is on track for the most turnovers at the position per game of all time. If Jones plays, it will be on a tender ankle that robs the one trait he has — his mobility.

Miami beat the Jets in November in convincing fashion. Every other game since the bye week — with the exception of the Cleveland and Buffalo (home) games — have been white knuckle affairs. This game has the makeup of a blowout, but in favor of the road team.

A bitter, angry team off the loss last week responds to Brian Flores’ message and puts a beating on the Giants.

Dolphins 27
Giants 13

@WingfieldNFL

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