Five Takeaways from Miami’s Win Over Denver
- Devon Achane’s coming out party
Miami’s 3rd round pick in the 2023 Draft was a healthy scratch in Week 1, and he touched the ball twice in Week 2. Against Denver, Achane had 18 carries and four receptions to combine for 233 total yards. The rookie’s speed was nothing new, as he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine, but what may have surprised some people was his toughness in running the ball. According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Achane led the league with 104 rushing yards over expected, more than doubling the second-closest running back in Week 3.
- Terron Armstead is a difference maker
Miami’s offensive line held down the fort without Armstead in the first two weeks of the season; however, his presence was notable on Sunday. The Pro Bowl left tackle was constantly getting to the second level on blocks and opening up massive holes for Miami’s running backs. In the three-quarters Armstead played, Miami ran the ball for 212 yards on 30 carries, averaging 7 yards per carry. Both of those numbers would be Miami’s single-game season highs.
- Easiest 300 yard game of Tua’s career
Tua recorded the ninth 300-yard passing game of his career, and he did it while completing 88% of his passes. The quarterback did so without getting sacked once during the game and constantly having receivers open down the field. His decision-making was excellent, as he didn’t force the ball deep when there was nothing there, instead opting to take shorter gains to his check-down options to stay on schedule.
- Defense made timely stops
Lost in the shuffle of Miami’s 70-point explosion was the play of Vic Fangio’s unit, which allowed a season-low of 13 points (seven came on a kickoff return) despite Denver moving the ball successfully. This was largely a result of two red zone stops in the first half and two forced fumbles by Jevon Holland. Going forward, however, I would like to see more from Miami’s pass-rushers, as they only got to the quarterback once in this game and allowed him to make plays outside the pocket.
- Offense has a chance to be historically good.
Through three weeks, the Dolphins have scored 17 touchdowns, seven more than any other NFL team (the Chargers are 2nd with 10). Jake Bailey has only punted the ball five times in this time span. The offense has moved the ball with ease, and all signs point to Miami’s explosive offense from 2022 evolving into a more balanced attack with different ways to exploit your defense. When Miami plays their game and isn’t beating themselves with silly penalties or turnovers, this type of offensive performance can be achieved. Not 70 points because that’d be absurd, but an offense that can set the league on fire. Mike McDaniel has this unit functioning at a level that hasn’t been seen since #13 was behind center for the Fins. All that’s left to be seen is whether they can keep it up.