Miami Dolphins Take A Week 1 Loss. Or Did They?

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • Dolphins
  • Miami
  • Miami Dolphins
  • NFL
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Tom Brady
  • Week 1
By David Gregg September 15, 2020 1 Comment
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Miami Dolphins Take A Week 1 Loss. Or Did They?

There is no denying on the scoreboard, the Dolphins took a loss in week 1. But did they really? Well yes, and no. Yes, the final score was a loss, and there is no way around that. But the Dolphins showed improvement in several different areas which is a win for a team that is rebuilding.

Many fans entered Week 1 with high hopes for the 2020 season. The Miami Dolphins are in just year 2 of a multi-year rebuild, so not too much should have been expected of them. But with the exciting and talented pieces Miami added this off-season it was hard to not have high hopes. Especially facing a New England Patriots team that was missing star Quarterback Tom Brady and many other high caliber players.

The biggest key to a Miami Dolphins Week 1 victory was stopping the run. Even after key defensive additions such as Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Shaq Lawson the Patriots steamrolled the Dolphins defense with 217 yards on the ground. Even with this disappointing and maybe worrisome stat there were quite a few positives from Sunday’s loss.

Dolphins Finally Have An Offensive Line!

In week 1 of the 2020 season, the Dolphins’ offensive line played surprisingly well. After adding four new starters to the line they gave up 0 sacks, (Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked once but that was on him and was not credited to any offensive lineman as a sack given up) 5 QB hits, and only 4 hurries.

According to PFF, left guard Ereck Flowers had the best pass blocking grade with a 77.1 pass-blocking grade. The Dolphins best lineman in run-blocking was rookie Solomon Kindley with a 67.5 grade. Kindley also had the best overall grade which was a 71.3 overall grade.

Some Positive Quarterback Play?

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a relatively clean pocket all game Sunday afternoon. Which is truly impressive for an offensive line with five starters who have played a total of 0 games together. Not even a preseason game. Despite having a clean pocket Fitzpatrick still took a sack and had a 0/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Although only one of those was his fault. On the first interception wide receiver, Preston Williams slipped and fell after the ball was thrown leaving just the defender standing in the path of the football. And the third interception which happened in the endzone late in the fourth quarter, tight end Mike Gesicki was blatantly shoved to the ground. There was no pass interference called and fans were left wondering why a challenge from coach Brian Flores never came. Ryan Fitzpatrick also completed 8.5% of passes above the expected completion rate.

Running Backs – How Did They Look?

Surprisingly we did not see much of Jordan Howard on Sunday, however, we did see plenty of Myles Gaskin. Gaskin showed that with adequate blocking from the offensive line he is actually a pretty good running back option. He had 40 yards on 9 carries with 4.4 yards per attempt and 3.56 yards after contact. Those were nice improvements from 2019 where he recorded 133 yards on 36 attempts, with an average of 3.7 yards per attempt and 3.28 yards after contact. Gaskin was also 4/4 on Sunday in receptions.

Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki looked good as a receiver. He had three receptions for 30 yards and would have had a touchdown if it was not for the outrageous pass interference non-call. The biggest positive takeaway, as well as the biggest improvement on this Dolphins offense, may have come from Mike Gesicki’s blocking. Gesicki had a shocking 88.2 run-blocking grade according to PFF.

Defensive Front

Turning to the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was the highest-graded Dolphins defender with an 80.0 overall grade. He had 1 sack and 2 passes defended.

Many Dolphins fans were disappointed in the Dolphins linebackers however, Van Noy lead the team in quarterback pressures. He also had five tackles with no missed tackles. Jerome Baker had 16 tackles, no missed tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble on the goal line.

Defensive Backs Looking Good!

Safety Bobby McCain was only targeted one time on a pass play which he broke up. He also added four tackles with zero missed.

Rookie safety Brandon Jones made 10 tackles with zero misses. he became just the fifth player in the NFL since 2016 with four or more tackles in their NFL debut game.

Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene had some nice plays in his NFL debut. He became both the youngest player to take the field in Dolphins History as well as being the youngest player currently in the NFL. After struggling to pronounce his last name the TV commentators said he could be the steal of the draft!

Did The Dolphins Lose On Sunday Or Did They Come Away With a Win?

While this game will go down on the stats sheet as an “L” there were also many positives from this game. Miami fielded a massively improved offensive line, that gave up zero sacks and kept the pocket clean all afternoon. Had a running back actually lead the team in rushing. Gaskin and Matt Breida both averaged a solid 4.4 yards per attempt. There were no dropped passes from the Dolphins’ backs either.

The Dolphins defense gave up the fewest passing yards in NFL with only 155 yards allowed. Surprisingly, Drew Brees had the second-fewest passing yards on Sunday with only 160. The Dolphins defense also only had two missed tackles on Sunday making them the best team in tackling on Sunday.

A loss in the final score will always hurt, no matter how you try and look at. But did they come out of the weekend with a win? For a team that is in a rebuilding year, the answer is yes.

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Shawn Clark

September 16, 2020

The online did okay in pass pro. Mostly because Fitz got rid of the ball so quick, but they were terrible in run blocking. Patriot defenders in the backfield all day!! Not impressed with the coordinators either, but hey it’s week one and we’re a young team with no preseason so kind of what I expected.

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