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Miami Dolphins

The Aftermath: Dolphins 37 Eagles 31

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-Eagles

Team Stats

Two years ago, Doug Pederson took a rather similar Eagles roster to the Super Bowl and knocked off Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Brian Flores. Flores was only a Linebackers Coach at the time, but he exacted his revenge with a resounding victory over the Eagles Sunday in Miami.

After letting a pair of October games slip through their fingers, the Fins are learning how to close out wins since the calendar turned to November. Miami are 3-2 over that time (the Patriots, comparatively, are 2-2), as the Fins had to make stands in the fourth quarter of each of those victories.

Sunday, after allowing Philadelphia to roll up 31 points after the first possession of the third quarter, the Dolphins defense held Carson Wentz and company to three points on the final five possessions of the game.

Miami put the game to bed with its most efficient day offensively, especially in the red zone. The Dolphins converted all four trips inside the 20 into six points, bringing their season conversion rate up to 67.7% — third best in the NFL. Miami are behind Ryan Tannehill’s Titans, the Packers, and ahead of Baltimore, Minnesota and Seattle in this red zone touchdown rate.

The Dolphins scoring offense is crawling out of the cellar; Miami’s 16.7 points per game is 29th in the NFL. Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the league’s 24th best passing offense, but the ground game is still, well, grounded — they rank dead last in both rushing yards per game and yards per rush.

Miami’s 34.6% third down conversion rate ranks 22nd while the fourth down rate (50%) is tied for 10th in football.

The Dolphins 597 penalty yardage assessed ranks fifth in the NFL and the 70 total accepted fouls is fourth-best.

Flores’ defense isn’t anywhere close to what he’d like it to be. Miami are 30th in total defense, 24th against the pass, and 31st against the run. The Dolphins scoring defense ranks dead last with 31.4 points per game allowed.

Allowing red zone touchdowns 60.9% of the time, Miami rank 25th in defensive red zone efficiency. The Dolphins rank 27th on third down stop rate, giving up 44.4% conversion on the money down.

Offense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 72 (100%)
RB Patrick Laird 43 (60%)
RB Myles Gaskin 16 (22%)
RB Kalen Ballage 11 (15%)
FB Chandler Cox 11 (15%)
WR Devante Parker 59 (82%)
WR Allen Hurns 58 (81%)
WR Albert Wilson 38 (53%)
WR Isaiah Ford 19 (26%)
TE Mike Gesicki 53 (74%)
TE Durham Smythe 37 (51%)
TE Clive Walford 11 (15%)
OL Michael Deiter 72 (100%)
OL Daniel Kilgore 72 (100%)
OL Shaq Calhoun 72 (100%)
OL Jesse Davis 72 (100%)
OL Julie’n Davenport 69 (96%)
OL J’Marcus Webb 7 (10%)

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick had his best game of the year tossing the ball all over the lot  to eight different receivers. He went after the Eagles vertically relentlessly to the tune of 6-of-7 on passes that traveled 20 or more yards. Those six completions totaled 171 yards and three touchdowns.

Blitz-heavy defenses have been a problem for Miami, and a sorely lacking offensive line. Fitzpatrick entered Sunday with a 3:2 TD:INT ratio when blitzed for a 7.0 YPA. Sunday, he threw a touchdown and averaged 8.4 yards per pass when the Eagles sent a fifth rusher.

Devante Parker had a lot to do with both the blitz beaters and downfield onslaught. Parker caught 4-of-5 targets beyond 20 yards for 136 yards and two scores.

Parker ranks 11th in yards per catch among receivers with 40 or more targets. He’s 34th in yards per route run and 13th on yardage gained via deep passing (20 or more air yards). Miami averages 14.8 yards per play when targeting Parker 20+ yards down field (8 receptions, 21 targets, 304 yards, 3 touchdowns).

Mike Gesicki caught 5-of-7 targets. He had one catch on Malcolm Jenkins, Nigel Bradham, Nathan Gerry and two on Jalen Mills. He averaged 15.8 yards per reception and all five grabs moved the chains.

Kalen Ballage finished with a negative average again, but the two backs that filled in for him did not. Myles Gaskin and Albert Wilson both averaged 3.5 yards after contact, and Gaskin led all backs with 20 rushing yards (two carries). Laird caught four of five targets and moved the chains on three of his receptions.

Shaq Calhoun finished with a 2.6 pass blocking grade, as a result of the five pressures he allowed (1 sack, 1 hit, 3 hurries). Julie’n Davenport was next with five pressures of his own (2 sacks, 2 hits, 1 hurry).

Michael Deiter allowed four pressures (0 sacks, 1 hit), but checked in with a 61.9 run blocking grade. Top honors across the offensive line in the run blocking department belong to Jesse Davis. He scored a 72.2 and allowed two pressures on Fitzpatrick — both hurries.

Chandler Cox and Durham Smythe both graded out positively in the run game.

Defense:

Snap Counts:

Players Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DL Christian Wilkins 52 (73%)
DL Davon Godchaux 48 (68%)
DL Taco Charlton 39 (55%)
DL Avery Moss 22 (31%)
DL John Jenkins 21 (30%)
LB Jerome Baker 63 (89%)
LB Vince Biegel 55 (77%)
LB Raekwon McMillan 51 (72%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 42 (59%)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 14 (20%)
LB Charles Harris 9 (13%)
LB Deon Lacey 1 (1%)
DB Eric Rowe 71 (100%)
CB Nik Needham 71 (100%)
DB Adrian Colbert 70 (99%)
DB Montre Hartage 20 (28%)
DB Ryan Lewis 16 (23%)
DB Walt Aikens 8 (11%)
DB Chris Lammons 2 (3%)

 

Sam Eguavoen had his best day as a pro. He picked up two sacks and an additional QB hurry on just 19 pass rush reps. He also made three run stops and allowed negative yardage on the only reception he “allowed,” a screen that he instantly sniffed out.

Eric Rowe continues his run of good play since moving to safety. He made four tackles (one miss, one run stop) and allowed just one reception on three targets. He shut Zach Ertz out on two targets, including a pass breakup in the end zone.

Nik Needham had a nice bounce back game. He allowed just three of seven targets to be completed, including two-of-five against Alshon Jeffery for 38 yards.

The Dolphins linebackers played more than any prior game this season, and the results were not good for the former Buckeyes. Jerome Baker was the team’s lowest-graded player, though he didn’t miss any tackles and allowed just 32 yards receiving on seven targets. He didn’t have a pressure on six pass rush snaps.

Raekwon McMillan allowed all four targets to be caught and he missed one tackle with, seven combined stops.

Christian Wilkins had five more pressures, but no sacks in the game. He finished with just one tackle.

Taco Charlton got back to a heavy workload, and he came through. He had three pressures (1 sack and 2 hurries), including two run stops and a forced fumble.

John Jenkins earned the top grade on the day with two hurries and a run stop, despite playing just 21 downs.

The Culture of Winning

The same names continue show up in the positives category, a feather in the cap of a coaching staff that had one job this year — display growth and development. And boy have they.

Eric Rowe and Devante Parker look to have worked their way from bottom-tier free agent contracts into premiere starters at safety and receiver respectively.

Vince Biegel and John Jenkins arrived in September and have proven to be integral parts of the defense moving forward — just as undrafted rookie Nik Needham has done in his own right.

Mike Gesicki was a second-round pick in 2018 and he’s starting to play like it.

If this is the kind of development we can expect going forward, it makes you wonder which of the current players can make a big jump next season. Michael Deiter has to be at the forefront of that list as he’s shown incremental improvement as the season has progressed. He’s still not playing at starter quality, but he’s certainly a linchpin moving forward.

Sam Eguavoen might be a formidable passing down linebacker, Andrew Van Ginkel has the look of a situational outside linebacker and Jomal Wiltz is a sound tackler on the dime defense.

Christian Wilkins stands the best chance to explode in 2020 the way Parker has this year. Wilkins continues to get close, but just hasn’t finished as a pass rusher this season.

The promised growth of all these young players only serves as a precedent-setter next season. When Miami drafts 14 new players — five of which will come from premium picks — when they sign import big time talent from other NFL rosters in free agency, it will be done with the expectation that those players are held to the same standard as those before them.

This was all part of the Dolphins plan, and it’s going swimmingly.

@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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