Ahhh, are you still smiling Dolphins fans? Miami beat a division rival for its first win of the season, beat a coach who formally doomed the team in year’s past and fans finally saw the talent different players have in the receiving core.
Williams, Parker, Gesicki come alive in receiving core
Preston Williams, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki (hello!) proved they have what it takes to be significant factors in the lacking receiving game in Miami. The route running of the team is getting better, and has shown that the players know what to do in games. However, throughout this season, not everyone has been on the same page and/or players have had too many easy drops.
Although Williams is now done for the year with an unfortunate ACL tear, the three leading receivers in the game against the New York Jets caught 15 passes for 224 yards. Gesicki had a career high in catches and yards, while Parker tied his season-high in touchdown grabs (4). While four TDs or less for the former-first-round pick is borderline disgraceful, Parker is in a prime position to not only collect a season-high, but double it before the 2019 season is over.
“Ultimately, I’m the guy that’s never too high, never too low. When things are going good, I’m going to keep doing what I do. When things are going bad, I’m going to keep sticking to my routine and know that I’m going to get over the hump eventually. That’s where I’m at with my mindset. It’s where I’ve always been and I’m not going to change it,” Gesicki said.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick set a NFL record in the game: three passing TDs in a single quarter this season. He is just the third QB this year to accomplish the feat. Fitzpatrick finished the game going 24-for-36 with 288, three TDs and zero interceptions.
Career days on defense
Most of the offensive damage was done in that second quarter, but many defensive players stepped up in major ways.
Defensive back Nik Needham recorded his first career sack on an offensive miscue from the Jets in the fourth quarter. It was beautiful. Needham had just New York running back Le’Veon Bell to beat, but Bell never saw him. Instead, Bell stepped up to help an offensive line blocker and Needham had a direct slam to QB Sam Darnold who never glanced his way. This pinned the Jets on their own one-yard line that led to an eventual Miami safety. Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux also sacked Darnold, giving Miami the most sacks it has had in a game this year this past Sunday.
Needham also had his best game as a Dolphin, recording nine tackles (six solo), ahead of Jerome Baker’s seven tackles (five solo) and Jomal Wiltz’s eight tackles (four solo) and one INT. Every defensive player had a tackle in some fashion during the game.
Miami will look to build around its strong defensive performance as it heads to Indianapolis where it will likely face back-up Brian Hoyer with an injured Jacoby Brissett nursing a knee injury. Brissett has not been ruled out, but he needs to practice in some confident fashion today or tomorrow to be ready for Sunday.