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Miami Dolphins

The Aftermath: Dolphins 24 Browns 41

Travis Wingfield

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Snap Counts, Grades, Metrics, 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-Browns

Team Stats

There are five games left in 2019 for Miami. After a miserable first quarter of the season, an encouraging five-game run gave fans something to hang their hats on regarding Miami’s disciplined, progressing nature. Now, two games removed from the pair of victories, the Dolphins might be out of answers for this December stretch-run.

The secondary is beyond decimated, and might’ve lost another player Sunday to injury (Ken Crawley). The same is true of the Dolphins backfield. A stable of unproven backs that’re trying to create yardage behind an offensive line who’s only accolade this season has been its health.

Per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Miami’s 63.2 rushing yards per game would be the lowest total in the NFL since the 1946 Detroit Lions. Sunday’s results brought Miami to the bottom in yards-per-carry as well — the 3.1 YPC is .1-point lower than Adam Gase’s New York Jets ground game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick celebrated his 37th birthday and 200th touchdown pass on Sunday. The Dolphins passing game ranks 26th with 201.7 yards-per-game. Miami still ranks bottom in team passer rating with a 71.0 mark in one of the game’s most important stats (a measure of the passing game in totality).

It gets worse.

Miami have allowed a league-worst 46 sacks, and the 3.9 adjusted net yards per pass attempt also brings up the rear.

There are some positives. Miami are now 30th in scoring (up from 32nd) with 14.8 points per game. The Phins are 8th in red zone touchdown conversion rate with an impressive 63% mark scoring touchdowns inside the 20-yard-line.

The Dolphins rank 24th on third downs with a 34% conversion rate.

The Browns game did not improve and of Miami’s defensive metrics. The Dolphins pass defense ranks 22nd, but that’s largely a function of the run defense getting ran over. Miami ranks 31stin rushing yards per game, and 25th in yards per rush.

The Phins’ 45 QB hits are last in the league, the same is true of Miami’s 14 quarterback sacks. Suddenly, Miami are missing more tackles. The 70 missed tackles ranks 16th, though two fewer missed tackles would rank Miami 10th in that department, with a logjam of teams in the 68-69 missed tackle range.

The Dolphins are tied for last in quarterback pressure rate (Seattle) at 17.3%, and are alone at the bottom in hurry rate (6.2%). Miami’s 7.7% quarterback knockdown rate ranks 10th in football.

Offense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 63 (100%)
RB Kalen Ballage 24 (38%)
RB Patrick Laird 23 (37%)
RB Myles Gaskin 16 (25%)
FB Chandler Cox 3 (5%)
WR Devante Parker 63 (100%)
WR Allen Hurns 57 (90%)
WR Albert Wilson 30 (48%)
WR Jakeem Grant 3 (5%)
TE Mike Gesicki 57 (90%)
TE Durham Smythe 39 (62%)
OL Julie’n Davenport 63 (100%)
OL Michael Deiter 63 (100%)
OL Daniel Kilgore 63 (100%)
OL Shaq Calhoun 63 (100%)
OL Jesse Davis 63 (100%)

 

Miami’s offensive creativity was challenged after a pair of in-game injuries prevented the team from any 11-personnel packages. That helped elevate Durham Smythe into a more prominent role in 12-personnel, one game after he played just eight snaps.

Smythe graded O.K. in the run-game and pitched a shutout in pass protection. He was targeted once as a receiver, but the pass was broken up.

Mike Gesicki got on the board with his first career touchdown. He only caught three of his seven targets and was charged with a drop.

It was Michael Deiter’s best day in pass protection. He allowed just one pressure (a hurry) keeping his quarterback clean throughout the day.

Julie’n Davenport received good news when it was learned that Myles Garrett would not play in the game, but that didn’t stop Davenport from struggling immensely. He allowed seven more QB pressures bringing his total up to 23 on the season in just three appearances.

The other tackle position has been a weak spot as well. Jesse Davis allowed four pressures (one of them a sack).

Miami’s best run-blocking grade went to Daniel Kilgore with a less-than-impressive 62.4 mark from PFF. Shaq Calhoun was last on the non-Davenport list for run-blocking, and allowed two pressures (both hurries).

Devante Parker continues to display consistency and big-play ability. Greedy Williams was the only one to get stops on Parker (2 catches on 5 targets). Parker’s 91 yards were spread nearly equal yards across four different players in coverage (25, 23, 22, and 21 respectively on the four players). Parker averaged 5.8 yards after the catch (35 total RAC yards).

Parker is averaging a career-high in yards per target (8.37), and is on-track to beat both his reception and yardage high-water marks, both set in the 2016 playoff season.

Allen Hurns dropped another pass, but continues to provide Ryan Fitzpatrick with a dependable underneath target. Hurns caught four of seven targets for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Fitzpatrick dealt with drops and pressures all day (four drops and four sacks). He had a passer rating of 3.3 under pressure (3-of-10 with 38 yards and an interception).

The running game is getting no help from the backs. Kalen Ballage is on-track to be the first back in league history with over 100 carries and less than a 2.0 average. He picked up just 12 yards after contact and did not move the chains a single time Sunday.

Patrick Laird picked up 20 yards on three carries, 10 of those coming after contact for a 3.33 YAC average. He dropped the one pass thrown in his direction.

Defense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DL Christian Wilkins 64 (84%)
DL Davon Godchaux 60 (79%)
DL John Jenkins 55 (72%)
DL Avery Moss 23 (30%)
DL Taco Charlton 15 (20%)
DL Gerald Willis 8 (11%)
LB Jerome Baker 76 (100%)
LB Vince Biegel 69 (91%)
LB Raekwon McMillan 67 (88%)
LB Charles Harris 38 (50%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 9 (12%)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 7 (9%)
DB Steven Parker 69 (91%)
DB Nik Needham 68 (89%)
DB Eric Rowe 59 (78%)
DB Jomal Wiltz 48 (63%)
DB Ryan Lewis 48 (63%)
DB Ken Crawley 36 (47%)
DB Adrian Colbert 12 (16%)
DB Chris Lammons 5 (7%)

 

Christian Wilkins’ progress from day-one of camp till now is encouraging. An 86% workload for an interior defensive lineman is no picnic, serving as a testament to his conditioning. And he’s not just taking up space, he’s making plays. He had four run-stops and three QB pressures Sunday, with the second best defensive grade on the team.

Top honors in that regard went to Taco Charlton, though he had one hurry and no run stops on 14 total reps.

Davon Godchaux made six more tackles, two good for run stops, and had four quarterback pressures (1 sack, 2 hits, 1 hurry).

Eric Rowe’s transition to safety continues to look like a great decision. He was targeted once in coverage (incompletion) and he made a tackle on his lone opportunity — a great play splitting a block and getting the back down in space.

Nik Needham came back down to earth. He allowed a pair of touchdowns and 87 receiving yards on 6-of-7 passing.

The linebacker play was dreadful. Raekwon McMillan, Jerome Baker and Vince Biegel combined to miss four tackles and all three of them graded 57.4 or worse, a well-below average grade on PFF. They combined for three QB pressures on 37 pass rush attempts and made just six run stops on 97 running downs.

Offensive Overhaul and the Quick Construction to Do So

The 2001 New England Patriots endured a massive rebuild ahead of their eventual two-decade-long run atop the AFC East, and the football world in general. Signing 23 free agents and drafting 10 rookies (three of the first four picks coming on the offensive and defensive lines) the Patriots began building Bill Belichick’s vision of a championship team.

During the course of the last 20 years, New England have had to remake itself on the fly several times. One of the many offensive archetypes the Patriots constructed was based around a pair of tight ends that perfectly complemented each other’s playing style. One of those tight ends is no longer with us — the other is now on television — but they might provide Miami with a blueprint for its own offense.

This team needs reinforcements in the worst way at quarterback, running back, and across the entire offensive line. That leaves Miami with Devante Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki to build around.

Allen Hurns received a two-year extension last week, and he’d serve nicely as the first man off the bench in Miami’s skill personnel. Number-three receivers don’t normally come off the bench, given that the NFL’s average for 11-personnel is roughly 60% of the league’s play calls. Hurns is suited perfectly to play 60% of the downs. There, he can utilize his strengths to uncover inside and against blitzes.

Miami would need its Rob Gronkowski (the run-blocking version) to fully unlock the potential of Gesicki. Perhaps that’s Durham Smythe, perhaps that player comes in free agency or the draft.

Operating under a 12-personnel base, Miami would then be left to focus its resources on the quarterback, running back and offensive line positions. The draft is littered with tailbacks, and the Phins figure to get a crack at the best quarterback in the draft with the soon-to-be top-five pick.

Miami might top the 23 free agents New England signed that year, and if training camp 2019 was any indication, Miami wants to be a power running team.

That’s just one of many, countless options the Dolphins will project ahead of the most important offseason in team history.

@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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