Going into this game, I wasn’t really sure how to feel. I was confident the Dolphins would win the game, but going against any Bill Belichick defense is a tall task to answer to. The Miami Dolphins are a buzzsaw, and the Patriots’ defense showed up against the Eagles. Something had to give, and at the end of the night, the Dolphins won.

One of the most obvious things to point out is the defense stepped up in a major way. It was nice to see a sort of return to form for Xavien Howard, who had a nasty clutch interception on quarterback Mac Jones. Now, the Patriots don’t have elite talent on offense. However, the run defense was impressive. Stevenson is a top-tenish back in the league, and for the most part, he was held in check.

The pass defense was solid, with the numbers slightly inflated due to Jones having to pass most of the game. I cannot go without mentioning Van Ginkel, who was more than stellar with the pass rush today. Every defensive snap, it felt like he was making plays; the same goes for Bradley Chubb. The two of them bullied the Patriots tackles. I would like to see this type of Bradley Chubb more consistently, and Van Ginkel has certainly earned more playing time.

The offense, I thought, played a pretty good game, considering what they were dealing with. Bill Belichick will make it tough on you; Tua was happy to spread the ball around. I think a game like this shows you the Tyreek Hill effect. He didn’t burn the Patriots. However, they were playing so far behind the line of scrimmage that Mostert got whatever he wanted on the ground. I don’t think Tua played his best game; he really slowed down in the second half, especially with a bad interception. I’m sure he wishes he could have back. The offensive line impressed me, with Austin Jackson holding his own against Judon and the interior big boys feeding on the run game. That being said, Connor Williams needs to step up with the snapping. I don’t know the problem, but I will chalk it up to needing more time to gel as my excuse. Overall, the offense did the job tonight; it’s hard to get mad or be Uber-critical with the game plan.

All in all, I was impressed with the Dolphins’ win. This was no easy task; every divisional game is a slog fest. I was impressed with how the Dolphins ran the ball, and it showed me they can win games that are not necessarily huge shootouts with huge offensive plays. Hopefully, this win gives this team something to build on.