3 Takeaways: Victory Over Falcons

Posted Aug 10, 2017

1. Injuries Hitting Hard - The Miami Dolphins have been hit extremely hard with injuries to multiple starters during training camp. The hits continued when starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillian went down with a knee injury while covering a punt early in the first quarter. The rookie didn't return to action and hopefully this setback doesn't alter his availability moving forward as the regular season approaches. Mike Hull replaced McMillian at middle linebacker. He has the ability to fill the spot in the short term, but this defense needs solid tackling from this group. McMillian has shown that talent in camp and will be missed if this setback is significant.

2. New Dolphins Show Their Worth - It only took a few defensive series for the 10-year veteran to show why the Dolphins’ defense will be better with William Hayes on the roster. Not only can he defend the run, but his relentless speed and strength was on full display against the Atlanta Falcons. Hayes can set the edge against the run while using his strength to gain depth upfield allowing other defenders to make plays on the ball carrier. His play must have been contagious because rookie defensive tackle Davon Godchaux flashed on multiple defensive possessions as well. On the offensive side of the ball, wide out Damore’ea Stringfellow showed determination and speed at a skill position with his 99-yard touchdown reception from David Fales.

3. Back-up RB's Fill the Void - On a night where both teams relied on the ground game, both Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake ran with authority using toughness and elusiveness in tight quarters. Williams started the game in place of Jay Ajayi, and ran with a punishing style, finishing off runs while always moving forward. He finished the night rushing for 18 yards on six carries. Drake hit creases with patience and his fluid running style makes him dangerous when he gets to the edge of the defense. On only four carries, the second-year pro finished the game averaging 5.3 yards per carry. I believe both running backs fit into this offensive system with ease and will provide a nice change of pace from the bruising style of Ajayi.

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