Albert Wilson needs to be on the field more often, plain and simple. He only logged 10 snaps in the entire game, and clearly made the most of them. Not only did he take a shovel pass 74 yards for the game sealing touchdown, but he also contributed a 52-yard touchdown pass to his fellow speedster Jakeem Grant (who makes a strong case to be in my stock up column as well). He graded out with an outstanding 92.7 this week according to PFF. According to NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats, Albert Wilson is second to only to Tyreek Hill for fastest ball carrier this season at 21.74 miles per hour. Technically listed as the fourth receiver on the depth chart, Wilson is second on the team in receiving yards, longest touchdown and tied for second in total touchdowns. The man is a playmaker, he should start to steal snaps from Danny Amendola if this offense is going to take the next step.
Xavien Howard has arrived folks. Regardless of what experts say or the lack of love we get from the major media outlets regarding our superstars, *cough* Reshad Jones, this man is playing at an elite level. Not only is he tied for the league lead with 3 interceptions and 7 pass breakups this season, he has totaled 7 interceptions in his last 8 games. He made the biggest play of the game on defense Sunday when he outplayed Martavias Bryant in the endzone and came up with a critical fourth quarter interception. He is only allowing a 32.3 passer rating when being targeted this season, which is good for third best in the NFL. PFF also ranked him as the third best corner this week with a grade of 88.7.
Ndamukong Who? Now this one was tough to put in my stock up column because they didn’t have the best day Sunday allowing 345 passing yards and 109 rushing yards. They lost a key defender for the season when William Hayes tore his ACL on a critical sack of Derek Carr when he tried to adjust and not land with his full weight on the quarterback and also lost Andre Branch for 2-4 weeks with a knee injury. The new league rule about roughing the passer has really come under fire over the first few weeks, and the injury to Hayes will only add fuel to it. But the main reason they are on here is there performance overall this season. The Dolphins defense is currently leading the entire league in opposing quarterback rating (65.6), tied for second in both turnovers (8) and fewest carries of 10+ yards allowed (4), third in yards per carry allowed (3.34) and sixth in the all-important points allowed category (17.3).
This is looking to be something that we’re just going to have to deal with all season as Adam Gase cannot seem to get these penalties under control. After committing only two penalties all game against the Jets last week, the Dolphins committed nine on Sunday against the Raiders. It could have easily cost us the game if it weren’t for a couple of clutch plays from Xavien Howard and Albert Wilson. Miami’s penalties cost them 74 yards on Sunday, but more importantly they directly cost us 6-10 points when Akeem Spence was ejected from the game for ripping off the helmet of a Raiders guard immediately following a 3rd down sack from Cam Wake. The Raiders went from having to punt, to getting three points on the drive. Also, at the end of the half, with the Dolphins easily in scoring position, they committed a holding penalty, which negated a first down, and an offensive pass interference, also negating a first down. Not only did we lose the first downs on our opponents’ side of the field, it knocked us back far enough, that after Tannehill took a sack on the next play, we were no longer even in field goal range. We cannot afford to have that kind of point swing against some of these better teams, including this week heading up to New England. The crazy thing about this is the fact that the Dolphins are actually one of the least penalized teams in the league this season, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Only the Titans, Chargers, Patriots and Giants have committed less penalties than the Dolphins this season.
The loss of Josh Sitton may be more impactful that we originally thought. Miami had a terrible day rushing the ball against the Raiders on Sunday as they totaled 14 carries for only 41 yards. The sad part about those numbers is the fact that they’re inflated by Ryan Tannehills ability to scramble. If you take out Tannehills three attempts for 26 yards, those numbers drop to 11 carries for 15 yards. Kenyan Drake, who was great last year in yards after initial contact, has not been able to recreate that magic that he had last season just yet. You could argue that the Albert Wilson 74-yard touchdown could’ve been a run, but all that would’ve done is mask the horrible day the Dolphins had on the ground.
This is something that Adam Gase looooves to do, despite the fact that he has very little success in doing so. I am personally over seeing all of our screen passes go for little to no yards. I get it, he wants to get the ball into the hands of his play-makers in space, makes all the sense in the world. But the screen game just hasn’t been working. Gase needs to figure out what is going wrong with these plays, whether it be the blocking, telegraphing with the formations or whatever it is, and fix it quick. I don’t see it going away anytime soon, and I don’t really want it to because it is a great way to scheme against defenses that like to blitz, but it needs some serious tweaking.