Dolphins’ Dominant Defense Picking Up Where They Left Off Last Year!
Transitioning into 2022, the Josh Boyer lead Miami Dolphins defense did not miss a beat. Even with the absence of stalwart Byron Jones in the secondary, the New England offense could never get into a rhythm. Both Miami safeties, Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones, made game-changing plays for the defense. But it was undrafted cornerback Kader Kahou, who? Kahou shined at critical game moments. He may not be on your regular Miami Dolphin program but he will be moving forward. Kahou had himself a “Cinderella type day.” He made several game-changing plays today including dropping Rhamondre Stevenson for a 4-yard loss and forcing a fumble by Patriot’s Nelson Agholor. The Miami defense is back with a renewed swagger highlighted by a shining rookie -Kahou. Who?
Mike Gesicki Absent in Dolphins Offense
Calling Mike Gesicki? Mike? The tight end out of Penn State was nowhere to be found on the newly minted McDaniel offense. Gesicki was targeted just once today for one yard. The absence of Gesicki today was disconcerting, to say the least, and the utilization of the tight end position never really catalyzed. Durham Smythe recorded only one reception as well, going for 14 yards. It’s not rocket science, the Mike McDaniel scheme relies on production from the tight end position.
Mike McDaniel’s Head Coaching Debut
There aren’t many rookie head coaches who can say they have a winning record against Bill Belichick, yet McDaniel accomplished this feat today. Although the Dolphin’s offense sputtered and was inconsistent at times, there was a noticeable and refreshing difference in play calling and schematic formations highlighted by using players in space with bold and aggressive play calling. For example, towards the end of the second half, McDaniel had a 4th and 7 from the Patriots 42-yard line. McDaniel with 24 seconds left elected to go for it. How did that turn out? How about an “in-your-face” 42-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa to Waddle. The transition to McDaniel calling the plays from a strange dual system in 2021 led to a noticeable decrease in head-scratching plays of the past.
Miami’s New Offensive Focus
It was no secret that Miami’s first-half game plan was to let the Cheetah (Tyreek Hill) loose in Miami Gardens. The Cheetah ran every which way in a variety of creative play calls dialed up by the first-year coach. Hill made his presence known early and often. The Patriots and their legendary coach, at the end of the day, did not have an answer for Hill who they were forced to account for on each play. Hill finished the day with 8 receptions for 94 yards. Tagovailoa did look solid at times but flashed some of his trademark inconsistent play, especially in the fourth quarter. He continues to hold onto the ball too long in the pocket and must learn to throw the ball away. Perhaps McDaniel has some more coaching magic up his sleeve; if he does, these new-look Dolphins may be playoff bound.
Why The Dolphins Were Able to Pull Out the Commanding Win
While New England was able to win the field position and running game battle, the Dolphin’s defense with their relentless pressure and tight secondary coverage was able to come up with game-changing turnovers which ultimately won them the contest. New England’s offense showed little promise despite coming out strong on the initial drive. It was that suddenly reliable combination of Jevon Holland and Xavien Howard who stripped all hope away for the suddenly anemic Patriots. Holland grabbed the deflected Howard ball from ex-Dolphin Devante Parker and sent them packing back to the cold Northeast. It was Kahou (who?), McDaniel, Xavien, Tyreek, and that rugged and reliable defense that said “get back on that plane; not today, not this year!”
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