With the final game of the NFL preseason in the books, the Miami Dolphins bested the New Orleans Saints in a 16-13 bout, despite no play time from most of their first and second string players.
Defense propels Dolphins to preseason finale victory
The Saints lead the Dolphins 7-6 with 4:16 remaining in the first half, but the Dolphins ended the half with a 13-7 lead. Then-third string quarterback Jake Rudock connected with then-wide receiver Reece Horn on a two-yard touchdown; Miami didn’t succumb to New Orleans after that as it led for the remainder of the game.
Although the Dolphins held their lead, the game nearly came down to the wire as the Saints had the final drive of the game and were down just three points. Their drive consisted of 13 plays for 75 yards, but failed to capitalize on a fourth-and-six with 0:46 seconds remaining.
Who shined on offense for Miami
Rudock ended up playing the entire game, putting up nearly 230 yards and a touchdown with a 109.7 passer rating. He was 22-for-29 on the night.
The offensive line’s play also improved from the previous weeks in preseason, Rudock was only sacked once on the night for a one-yard loss. QBs could be jeopardy in the back field now, as the Dolphins just traded their best OL yesterday, Laremy Tunsil, to Houston as it enters full rebuild mode.
Though it was still just the preseason, it was good for Miami fans to see their team playing together as a unit. The team put together a combined 117 rushing yards. Running back Mark Walton led the way with 12 carries for 52 yards, and his longest coming in at 14 yards. Rookie, Myles Gaskin also accumulated 48 yards on just eight carries with his longest coming in at 17 yards. Gaskin was on the bubble of being cut from the roster, but Miami kept six RBs with him in one of the slots.
Tight end Chris Myarick was the leading receiver with 78 yards and six receptions, but Rudock’s only touchdown on the night went to Horn on the previously mentioned two-yard catch. Myarick also made the 53-man roster in a shocking surprise.
Who shined on defense/special teams for Miami
On the defensive and special teams sides of the ball, then-linebacker Tre Watson was the leading tackler with 10 total tackles (four solo). Additionally, kicker Jason Sanders was perfect on the night, hitting all three of his field goal attempts and his one extra point, with his longest FG having a long of 46 yards.
Since the final preseason game, and the passed 53-man roster deadline, head coach Brian Flores has been busy making cuts and huge trades. Flores and the Dolphins’ management are looking to rebuild the team and it has accumulated two first round picks, one second round pick and one linebacker in its two trades since Saturday morning.