Welcome back to another installment of Stock Up & Stock Down. In Week 9 of the NFL season against the Arizona Cardinals, we were able to pull of a game that went down to the last posession with a final score of 34-31. The defense had another fumble return for a TD, Tua was elite and Jason Sanders showed how clutch he is. With so much to dissect let’s dive right in:
Every week it feels like we are here talking about Emmanuel Ogbah and I hope it never changes. Ogbah has been well worth the money and now I have to begin to wonder how long he can keep these kinds of performances up for. Ogbah has had at least 0.5 sack in every game besides the game against the Patriots. He already has totaled 6 sacks for the year which has him tied for 8th in the league. What’s great about Ogbah is how active he is in all aspects of the game whether it be rushing the passer, stopping the run and even deflecting passes, he has shown he has all the traits to lead a team in sacks and be dominant player in this league.
Preston Williams looked like he was slowly becoming Tua’s most trusted weapon on an afternoon where he finished second on the team with 4 catches for 60 yards with only DVP having more at 6 catches and 64 yards. The incredible part of that stat is that while DVP managed those stats in 60 minutes, Preston only played until he scored with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. With the way Tua began dealing after the second quarter I have 0 doubts that Preston would have been well on his way to a career day. Let’s hope the foot injury sustained by Christian Wilkins jumping on him to celebrate the TD is not as serious as it looked when we saw him get carted off without either cleat on.
As we go deeper in the postseason chase, we are currently in we will begin to appreciate the difference it makes to have a kicker you have 0 concerns with. I will admit that with 3 minutes left I second guessed Coach Flores conservative decision to not go for it and instead settle for the field goal. I only questioned the choice because of Kyler and the offense still having ample enough time to come back the length of the field. Ultimately the results are what they are with Arizona kicker missing the game tying field goal and Jason Sanders showing that we will be able to rely on him when it counts most later on in the year.
Raekwon Davis continues to show why Coach Flores was this excited to draft him.
So let me just start this Raekwon Davis thread by saying that I fully endorse, understand and would have had the same reaction had I known what Coach Flores knew. pic.twitter.com/srbYcTaStR
— Juan C (@exclusvty) November 6, 2020
Due to Raekwon position and what it calls for him to do you will rarely see him get the stats that a 4-3 DT like Aaron Donald can get but every week Raekwon has shown an ability to improve and to take coaching to help the overall unit perform better. While giving up 178 yards rushing is not ideal, you have to take for account that only a handful of teams have a player of Kyler caliber who can get 106 yards on 11 carries. Helping hold Chase Edmonds to 25 carries for 70 yards however is very impressive.
Hard as it may seem to say, Tua surpassed every expectation we had for him this afternoon. Once he got settled in, he was dealing in ways we are not accustomed to seeing in South Florida. Tua finished his afternoon 20/28 for 248 yards 2 passing TDs and 7 carries for 35 yards. He willed us to a victory on a day that had Kyler Murray show the MVP type of player he is turning into. It did not matter as Tua led us down the field to not only tie put us up 3 but also to kill the clock out and get the win once we got the ball back after the missed Arizona field goal. Tua even showed improvement during the game when he started off 1-5 for 5 yards against the blitz (5 or more rushers) and then ripping it apart in the second half for 6/8 65 yards and a TD. Ultimately Tua showed us all of his skills this afternoon, from throwing with touch, to evading the pass rush and even running the ball somewhat like Kyler (lol). In all seriousness, the sky is the limit for Tua, and I cannot wait to do a deep analysis on him this coming week.
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As good as that start with the fumble return for a touchdown felt, it was short lived as that was the only success we had as a defense against them and specifically against Kyler. Kyler on the day accumulated a total of 283 yards passing with 3 TDs in the air and also sprinkling on top 11 carries for 106 yards and another TD. 389 yards total with 4 TDs is not a recipe that the Dolphins can repeat with other QBs and expect to come out on top as we did today.
I will own up to my failed prediction of Jordan Howard having 75+ yards rushing and a 1 TD. While I was correct in calling the TD, I was horribly incorrect in everything else. Jordan had his longest gain for 8 yards (on the final drive!) which means he gained 11 yards on 9 carries. Truly an atrocious performance where even the rookie Salvon Ahmed was able to get 5 yards a carry on his 7 touches. There is little to no hope left to expect the light to come on for Jordan at this point. Depending on how much time Breida is forced to miss we should look into seeing what Ahmed is really about.
In another game that I expected Coach Flores to use as a statement game to show the league that this Defense and team are the real deal. While the team aspect of that thought came true the defense fell completely flat outside of the fumble return for a TD. All afternoon long it felt like the chess match of Kingsberry vs Flores was being won by the former. Kyler and company always seemed to be one step ahead of us. Even at the end when we went conservative and went for the field goal to break the 31-31 tie it felt like Flo was indecisive as he even burned a timeout to decide what to do. If not for the combined heroics of Tua Tagovailoa and Jason Sanders, I think we’re taking a closer look at the questionable decisions by Coach Flores and staff who to be fair were down 5 coaches due to Covid. Hell, we even had our Tight End coach serve as the QB coach, so I am not going to be as critical.
Overall this win becomes another steppingstone for not just Coach Flores or even Tua, these type of wins with the way our young QB was playing energize a team and a city that has been starved for this type of excitement. For what I hope will be the next decade, our Miami Dolphins will have a chance to win every game because of the decision we made on April 23rd, 2020 in drafting Tua Tagovailoa. Till next time guys, Fins Up!