The Miami Dolphins had an exciting game at the famous Hard Rock Stadium and won 20-13 against the Las Vegas Raiders, keeping their winning streak alive. They are doing really great with a perfect 5-0 record at home and an impressive 7-3 overall standing, showing they are tough, skilled, and adaptable. But as things calm down after this crucial win, a closer look shows a mix of tough moments and successes shaping the path.
The game’s narrative was undeniably colored by the rollercoaster return of rookie running back De’Von Achane. His early moments on the field, marked by a knee injury, raised concerns about his durability – a lingering worry since the preseason. He is a talented player, and now the Dolphins must find the best way to use him while ensuring he stays healthy. The Dolphins offense is better when Achane is on the field; the problem is starting to be he can’t seem to stay on the field.
The return of key players – Achane, alongside wide receivers River Cracraft and Robbie Chosen – added depth to the Dolphins’ roster. Chosen’s crucial 30-yard catch before halftime highlighted the value of experienced players like him. They bring skill and smart thinking when it matters most.
Special teams witnessed a narrative arc of its own, encapsulated by the journey of kicker Jason Sanders. He missed a 50-yard kick in the third quarter, which could have been a problem. However, he bounced back, showing mental strength by making a crucial 51-yard field goal. It underscores the importance of staying strong in important games.
Defensively, the spotlight shone brightly on All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey caught two interceptions, especially the diving one in the third quarter, showing why he is seen as a game-changing player. His leadership in a secondary at full strength for the second consecutive game played an important role in containing the formidable Davante Adams and setting the tone for the defense.
The offensive storyline unfolded with its own set of challenges. The Dolphins run game, a powerhouse entering the game, faced adversity after Achane’s departure, managing a modest 99 yards on 28 carries. Changing plans quickly and depending on Raheem Mostert and fullback Alec Ingold demonstrated how the team is strong and determined.
Though marked by turnovers, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s performance is a subplot that demands attention. In the last ten games, Tagovailoa had 11 turnovers, with eight interceptions. Now is a crucial time for him to focus on improving and securing the ball, especially with the playoffs in mind.
The game against the Raiders revealed that the referees made mistakes, especially in a play where a lateral pass could have changed the outcome. Both teams’ early whistle and confusion highlight that the NFL needs better officiating standards.
The focus shifts to continued improvement as the Dolphins look ahead to the Black Friday clash against the New York Jets. Tagovailoa, set to tie a career-best with his 11th consecutive start, must lead the charge. Despite offensive strength, the Dolphins aim to reverse a concerning trend of not leading at the end of the first quarter in their past five games.