On Tuesday, Dolphins fans are still savoring their 27-20 Monday Night Football victory of the defending champion Patriots, and they should. They were impressive in almost every facet of the victory and the following numbers bear that out:
Running the ball
Remember when coach Adam Gase “called out,” and eventually traded star RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles in October? Well, the Fins have continued to consistently get strong production out of the backs that remained behind and that included Kenyan Drake Monday night.
Drake (photo above) carried it 25 times (a career high) for 114 yards and a 4.6 ypc. average. It was his second straight 100 yard game and clearly, even with the Dolphins issues with injured and restructured offensive line, Drake has been able to not only make people miss but explode for big gains:
— NFL (@NFL) December 12, 2017
That “X-box”-esque move sprung his 31 yard run and led directly to the Fins first touchdown late in the first half.
Drake also added five catches for the game and had 193 total yards from scrimmage. Obviously, this was the kind of production Gase was envisioning. Plus, Drake and the now-injured Damien Williams are both better pass blockers for Jay Cutler than Ajayi ever was and that has helped Miami’s offense come to life over the last month.
Brady under siege all night
Not only did the Fins offense have success with the Patriots, but the defense, led by a strong effort from the defensive line, was in Brady’s face from the beginning.
Brady had an 0-4 first quarter for obviously, 0 yards, an interception and an a 0.0 Quarterback Rating. Ouch.
It did not get much better from there.
As this article from SI.com laid out postgame, Brady was hit, harassed and knocked over the Hard Rock Stadium turf all night. Officially hit six times and sacked twice, the 40 year old looked his age at times, and could not get away from the rush/blitz in key situations.
Brady was just 7-13 in completions while being pressured/hit, and for the first time in his career New England had ZERO third down conversions on the night. 0 for 11.
A Pats game without a third down conversion actually hadn’t happened since 1991, when Brady was in junior high school in California.
Finally, Cutler was dynamite
The final numbers for veteran QB were 25-38 for 263 yards 3 TDs and a QBR of 112.1, but there was more to it than that.
Cutler put zip and touch on the ball at the right times and for the right throws, including this beautiful one late third quarter to Jakeem Grant:
Even BETTER catch.
— NFL (@NFL) December 12, 2017
Cutler completed passes to eight Dolphins receivers and was able to lead scoring drive after scoring drive as Miami built the 27-10 lead in the second half.
ESPN’s Jon Gruden gushed at one point, “this is the best I’ve seen him play in three years” (going back to Bears games).
Needless to say, it was a big night for Miami.
Still, they are just 6-7 and have to win out. Then, hope and pray for a lot of losing in front of them in the AFC Wilcard picture.
But on Monday night, they looked, and the numbers show it, like a playoff team.
News7 days ago
Report- Former USF coach Leavitt out as Oregon DC, FSU next?
Florida Gators1 week ago
Gators about to lose DC Todd Grantham to Bengals?
News1 day ago
Was Spring AAF league on verge of folding?
Jacksonville Jaguars2 days ago
Jaguars make contract moves Monday afternoon
Florida State Seminoles5 days ago
FSU offensive line coach Greg Frey dismissed Friday morning
Florida State Seminoles4 days ago
Florida State already has line coach targeted
Florida Gators3 days ago
Tim Tebow on lure of AAF Spring league: “Coach Spurrier keeps calling”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Bucs released DE Vinny Curry Tuesday