Salvon Ahmed has stepped up in a big way to help the Dolphins running game with Gaskin and Breida out

Balance and Trust – The Flo Way

Your Miami Dolphins just capped off their 5th win in a row after beating the Los Angeles Chargers 29-21.

Tua Tagovailoa finished the game with 169 yards passing with 2 TD’s but this is where the word balance comes into play with this win against the Chargers. In his second game as a member of the Dolphins, Salvon Ahmed had 21 carries for 85 yards for the Dolphins, averaging 4 yards a carry. Miami kept the Chargers on their toes by the way of the running game. That came into play on the second to last drive of the game. But before I get there, on the Tua TD pass to Durham Smythe with 11:44 left in the 4th, Tua had a rollout to the left after a fake handoff, and that led to a touchdown. That’s what a great running game does, lets that play-action open up other options on offense. Now back to the second to last drive, before going for a field goal to make it a 15-point lead, Miami called two run plays that had gained a total of 2 yards. Then on 3rd down, Tua hands the ball off to Patrick Laird for a gain of 17, one of the biggest plays off the game to help run some clock.

I don’t know if Salvon Ahmed will be the every-down back when Matt Breida returns and when Myles Gaskin comes back from IR, but through two games with the Dolphins, we can expect to see Ahmed come into a bigger role.

Though Miami’s offense made a huge mistake early in the 2nd quarter with botched snaps.  On the first snap, Miami was able to avoid a mistake by Tua being able to complete a 23-yard pass to Devante Parker. The second one, not so much as Karras fumbled the snap and it was recovered by Nick Vigil who was able to return it to the Dolphins 37-yard line. The Chargers were able to score, but the coaching staff had trust still in their team. I said to myself after that if the Dolphins play mistake-free the rest of the way, they would not blow this lead. They didn’t make a big mistake like that one the remainder of the game.

This was another game in which the Dolphins got a turnover, this time it was via an Interception by Xavien Howard early in the 4th, his league-leading 5th interception.  Despite Christian Wilkins missing the game being on the COVID-19 list, they still got contributions, with two tackle for losses from Zach Sieler, one from rookie Jason Strowbridge and Benito Jones. Emmanuel Ogbah continues to get to the quarterback, and Nik Needham fooled former Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage to get a sack on Justin Herbert. You didn’t hear Byron Jones’ name a lot today on the broadcast, with him shutting down Mike Williams.

There’s a lot of chemistry and trust with this defense right now. With the defensive line getting contributions from different players and the secondary, not letting receivers get open as well as no Chargers WR had more than 40 yards receiving.

Here is one way that the Chargers shot themselves in the foot today, special teams. That’s on coaching, and I’m sure Anthony Lynn will face a lot of questions about what happened to their special teams this week. First was a blocked punt, then it was offside on the field goal attempt that gave Miami a first down and then they eventually score to make it a 14-0 game. Later in the game, Jakeem Grant sets Miami up near midfield and then on a punt late in the second, instead of getting a fair catch to get it around the 10-20 yard line, the Chargers returner lets the ball roll all the way to the Chargers 4, not giving Justin Herbert much field position.  Miami only had one mishap on special teams with a Jason Sanders miss from 47 yards, but Sanders still went 3 of 4 on FG’s and made both his extra points.

Flores was okay with taking the field goals instead of going for some 4th & 1’s, because he has trust that more than 9 times out of 10, Sanders is going to make field goals. Combine with the fact that their defense is playing at a really high level right now. That is what balance and trust can do in order to beat a really talented Los Angeles Chargers football team and to get your Miami Dolphins to a 6-3 record. And be a half-game back of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East standings. It’s the Brian Flores way.