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Inside the Numbers | 2020 Season in Review

The Dolphins finished the season with 10 wins, five better than in 2019. The five-win improvement this season is tied for the best in the National Football League this season with the Cleveland Browns. It was the 23rd season in franchise history with double-digit wins and the first since 2016.

Miami went 9-3 in their final 12 games and 10-4 in the final 14. They recorded a takeaway in all 16 games and extended the overall streak to 22 games dating back to last season, the longest active mark in the NFL. The last time Miami had a takeaway streak this long was from December 5, 1982 to October 6, 1985, when they had a takeaway for a franchise-record 42 straight games.

The last streak of this length in the NFL was the 2011-2013 New England Patriots who secured a takeaway in 36 straight games. The Dolphins led the NFL with 29 takeaways, which was also the most for the franchise since 2008 (30).

The Dolphins end the season with a plus-66 point differential, the largest by Miami since the 2002 season (plus-77). Their 31:16 average time of possession per game was the best Dolphins mark since 2009 and their league-best third down defense (31.2 percent) was Miami's best since 1999.

The defense's 41 sacks were the most by a Dolphins team since 2013 and the 21.1 points allowed per game was the team's fewest since the 2013 season. Linebackers Jerome Baker (7), Kyle Van Noy (6) and Andrew Van Ginkel (5.5) all tallied at least five sacks. It's the first time Miami had three players with at least five sacks in the same season.

The Dolphins gained 345 first downs this season, tied for the team's second-most since at least 1991. The Dolphins had 361 first downs in 2014 and also had 345 in 1995.

Dolphins tight ends caught 91 passes for 1,061 receiving yards, both franchise-best marks collectively among the tight end room. The 11 combined touchdown receptions between Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen tied the Dolphins tight end record.

Dolphins Final 2020 Defensive Rankings


Snap Counts -- Defense

Table inside Article
Player Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DT Christian Wilkins 637 (61.7%)
DT Raekwon Davis 538 (52.1%)
DT Zach Sieler 532 (51.5%)
DT Davon Godchaux 172 (16.7%)
DT Benito Jones 47 (4.6%)
DE Emmanuel Ogbah 792 (76.7%)
DE Shaq Lawson 571 (55.3%)
DE Jason Strowbridge 55 (5.3%)
DE Tyshun Render 8 (.77%)
LB Jerome Baker 868 (84.0%)
LB Kyle Van Noy 811 (78.5%)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 479 (46.4%)
LB Elandon Roberts 402 (38.9%)
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill 207 (20.0%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 84 (8.1%)
LB Calvin Munson 46 (4.5%)
CB Xavien Howard 936 (90.6%)
CB Byron Jones 814 (78.8%)
CB Nik Needham 617 (59.7%)
CB Noah Igbinoghene 286 (27.7%)
CB Jamal Perry 140 (13.5%)
S Bobby McCain 923 (89.4%)
S Eric Rowe 919 (89.0%)
S Brandon Jones 385 (37.3%)
S Kavon Frazier 48 (4.7%)
S Clayton Fejedelem

*stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted

**run stops = tackles on run plays within two yards of the line of scrimmage

Cornerback Xavien Howard tied the Dolphins franchise record with 10 interceptions (1967, Dick Westmoreland). Howard led the NFL in interceptions and passes defensed (20). His first career interception came in 2017, and he's picked off 22 passes since that time, the most in the NFL (Tennessee's Kevin Byard is second with 18).

Howard finished the season with a passer rating against of 53.0, best in the NFL among cornerbacks with at least 40 pass targets. His completion percentage allowed of just 52.2 was fifth among cornerbacks with 40 pass targets.

Cornerback Byron Jones set a career high with two interceptions. He allowed just 40 receptions in 14 games (2.86 receptions per game).

Eric Rowe's first full season at safety was a success. He allowed just 6.86 yards per target, intercepted two passes, broke up nine more and added 25 run stops. Opposing quarterbacks posted a passer rating of just 76.9 when targeting Rowe, fourth among safeties with at least 40 pass targets.

Safety Bobby McCain was targeted only 10 times as the primary coverage man, according to Pro Football Focus. The 10 pass attempts produced a passer rating of just 27.5. McCain and Rowe made a combined 137 tackles with only 13 missed attempts, good for a tackle success rate of 90.6 percent (Pro Football Reference).

Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah finished in the top 20 in sacks (9.0), quarterback hits (21) and forced fumbles (3). His 66 quarterback pressures were third-most among edge defenders trailing only Shaquil Barrett (TB) and T.J. Watt (PIT). He recorded a sack in six consecutive games this season, the second-longest streak in franchise history.

Defensive end Shaq Lawson finished second on the team with 39 quarterback pressures. His 18 QB hits were 26th in the NFL and he added 15 run stops and four tackles for loss.

Defensive tackle Zach Sieler led the team with 11 tackles for loss and finished 25th in the NFL in that category. The only defensive tackles higher on that list were Aaron Donald (LAR) and Leonard Williams (NYG). His 25 quarterback pressures were fourth on the team and his 32 run stops were second. The 32 run stops were eighth among NFL defensive tackles.

Defensive tackle Raekwon Davis finished the season with 40 tackles, the second-most by a rookie defensive linemen this season (Chase Young, 44).

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins finished third on the team with 30 run stops and 11th in the NFL among defensive tackles. His 42 percent run-stop win rate (ESPN) was sixth-best at his position.

Linebacker Jerome Baker led the Dolphins with 39 run stops. He also finished with 112 tackles, 27th in the NFL and best on the team. Among off-ball linebackers, Baker finished second in the league with seven sacks.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy set a career-high with six sacks. His 31 quarterback pressures tied for second among players classified as linebackers, courtesy of PFF.

Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel saw marked improvements across the board from his rookie season. He set career highs in tackles (48), sacks (5.5), QB hits (21), forced fumbles (3) and scored a 78-yard fumble return touchdown.

Dolphins Final 2020 Offensive Rankings


Snap Counts -- Offense

Table inside Article
Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Tua Tagovailoa 571 (53.5%)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 496 (46.5%)
RB Myles Gaskin 453 (42.5%)
RB Salvon Ahmed 205 (19.2%)
RB Matt Breida 151 (14.2%)
RB Patrick Laird 144 (13.5%)
RB DeAndre Washington 77 (7.2%)
WR DeVante Parker 726 (68.0%)
WR Isaiah Ford 374 (35.1%)
WR Jakeem Grant 370 (34.7%)
WR Preston Williams 336 (31.5%)
WR Lynn Bowden Jr. 336 (31.5%)
WR Mack Hollins 286 (26.8%)
WR/RB Macolm Perry 1 (0.1%)
WR Kirk Merritt 1 (0.1%)
TE Mike Gesicki 621 (58.2%)
TE Durham Smythe 448 (42.0%)
TE Adam Shaheen 367 (34.4%)
TE Chris Myarick 8 (0.8%)
OL Ted Karras 1,067 (100%)
OL Jesse Davis 1,053 (98.7%)
OL Ereck Flowers 856 (80.2%)
OL Austin Jackson 847 (79.4%)
OL Solomon Kindley 747 (70.0%)
OL Robert Hunt 720 (67.5%)
OL Julie'n Davenport 52 (4.9%)
OL Adam Pankey 28 (2.6%)
OL Michael Deiter 22 (2.1%)

*stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished the season with five interceptions on 290 passing attempts, good for an interception rate of 1.72, which is the second-lowest in a season in team history (1.47, Chad Pennington, 2008). He finished the year with the seventh-fastest release time (2.55, per Next Gen Stats).

When blitzed, Tagovailoa completed 64.7 percent of his passes and threw seven touchdowns, just one interception and posted a passer rating of 101.6 against an extra rusher.

Running back Myles Gaskin averaged 97.2 yards from scrimmage per game played, which ranked ninth in the NFL (minimum 10 games played). His 2.54 yards after initial contact average led all Dolphins running backs with at least 20 attempts. Salvon Ahmed became the first undrafted rookie in Dolphins history to rush for 100 yards when he had 122 vs. New England on Dec. 20, 2020. He was second on the team with nine forced missed tackles (Gaskin first with 30).

Wide receiver DeVante Parker recorded three 100-yard games, the second-highest total of his career. He led the team in receiving for the second straight year with 793 yards. His 61.2 catch percentage was the second-best mark of his career (64.6 percent, 2016).

Tight end Mike Gesicki led the team with six receiving touchdowns and finished second on the team with 703 receiving yards. The 703 receiving yards were second among tight ends in team history and fourth among NFL tight ends this season. His 8.3 yards per target trumped his previous high (6.4 in 2019).

Center Ted Karras never missed a snap and allowed only 11 quarterback pressures on 667 pass-blocking snaps.

Rookie guard Solomon Kindley had the second-best pressures-per-snap allowed rate on the team. He allowed just 17 pressures on 448 pass-blocking snaps.

Rookie left tackle Austin Jackson allowed only one sack from Week 12 on. On the other side, rookie right tackle Robert Hunt earned five of his top PFF game grades over the final six weeks of the season.

Veteran Jesse Davis played 1,055 snaps at three different positions and allowed only one sack all season. Fellow veteran Ereck Flowers surrendered just 20 quarterback pressures on 539 pass-blocking snaps.

Special Teams

Jason Sanders tied the franchise record for points scored (144), matching the 1999 season of fellow kicker Olindo Mare. He finished the season 36-of-39 on field goals, giving him a franchise-best 92.3 field goal percentage. His 36 made field goals were second-most in the NFL this season and also second-most in team history behind Mare's 39 in 1999.

Jakeem Grant finished second in the NFL with 330 punt return yards. His 88-yard return for a touchdown against the Rams in Week 8 set a franchise record both for longest punt return and most career punt return touchdowns (3).

Matt Haack's 26 punts downed inside the 20-yard-line tied for sixth-most in the NFL.

Safety Clayton Fejedelem led the Dolphins with nine tackles on special teams. He also converted both of his two rushing attempts for first downs on fake punts. His 22-yard run in Week 16 in Las Vegas was the longest run by a non-skill player since 2003 when Matt Turk ran for 23 yards.

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