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Dolphins Overcome Another Two-Score Deficit, Defeat Jets

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Dolphins Overcome Another Two-Score Deficit

Somehow, some way, this team continues to finds ways to win. The Miami Dolphins are 13-4 in their last 17 games under head coach Adam Gase. It is not pretty and definitely isn’t easy to watch on the field. However, as Jarvis Landry said after the game, “A win is a win.” The Dolphins overcome adversity, and are the most resilient Miami team in recent history. The Phins stormed back from a 14-28 second-half deficit, despite losing their (second) starting quarterback Jay Cutler. Matt Moore and company fought and clawed their way to a 31-28 win, and have set a tone for their season.


Quarterbacks Are Making Plays

Jay Cutler went down early in the third quarter, after getting drilled into the turf and injuring his ribs. Cutler suffered two cracked ribs and will be out for two to three weeks, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. However, with an MRI pending the team will learn the full extent of his injuries in the coming days.

Matt Moore came into the game off the bench, cold and rusty, and put on a show. While he did throw an interception, the veteran backup showed his gunslinger mentality going 13-21, for 188 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Dolphins overcome Cutler going down, with some help from Moore. When it seemed all hope was lost and they were down 14 points, Moore came in making more plays in one half than Jay Cutler has made all season. Completions of 29, 28, 22, 21, 20, 17, and two touchdowns are stats that really jump off the page. Miami has struggled to move the ball all season. That being said, Matt Moore is an emotional, high-energy guy and sparked the offense for a much-needed win.

When he is in the game, Jay Cutler has been average this season. While some of the blame lies with the offensive line, it also lies with the play calling. Nonetheless, the highly criticized Cutler made plays and moved the offense before going down. Following 138 yards, two touchdowns and a pick that was not his fault, his job is safe. The last two weeks, Cutler has shown noticeable improvement, which is paying dividends on defense and in the run game. Unless Matt Moore miraculously becomes Tom Brady overnight, when Cutler returns from injury the reigns should be his.

Secondary Is Talented, But Young

For the second time this season, Josh McCown looked elite against the Miami Dolphins. In regards to personnel and stats, Miami’s defense matches up well with the New York offense. In spite of that, McCown tore apart the secondary and took advantage of the young and inexperienced unit. The Dolphins overcome a lot on defense, but giving up big plays is a recipe for disaster. Racking up 300 yards and three touchdowns through the air, McCown earned a 108.4 passer rating, on the road. They made him look like an all-star for three straight quarters. Be that as it may, when it counted, Miami got off the field.

The tackling the last few weeks has gotten worse and worse. On Sunday afternoon, it was “hold your nose” bad. Miami could not corral the tailbacks in the screen game, and arm tackled often. For some reason, once the third quarter begins, this defense decides to wake up. Miami woke up in a big way, holding the Jets to 81 total second-half yards, and negative four yards in the fourth quarter.

Once again, the defense sealed the win with a last-minute interception. Bobby McCain jumped a route with 47 seconds to go and set up the game-winning field goal. Cordrea Tankersley got beat twice for a touchdown in the first half. Tankersley, Howard, and McCain are young, talented defensive backs. They will go through growing pains, but will also make huge plays.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Miami is a 4-2 football team, and they are finally getting the offense going. It has been ugly and, at times, even impossible to watch. However, Adam Gase is finding something within this team to make the plays when it matters. Matt Moore is a special quarterback who will make big plays for the offense. On the other hand, he is turnover prone, which showed on Sunday when he tossed an interception down the seam. This team needed superb execution to have a shot in Week 7, and that is what they did.

The entire offense is starting to click, even though the run game was fast asleep versus the Jets. Jay Ajayi averaged 2.2 yards-per-carry which is worrisome. Overall, things are looking positive in Miami. The Phins take on the Ravens in Baltimore for Week 8 Thursday Night Football. With how both teams look, Miami has a good chance to go 5-2 and thrust themselves into the playoff conversation.