Every Monday, we'll go inside the numbers from the previous game. We'll take a look at the snap counts, cumulative team stats for the season and advanced metrics from a variety of analytics sites such as Pro Football Focus, NFL Next Gen Stats and Pro Football Reference.
(These statistical rankings do not include the Week 15 Monday Night Football game between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh).
Sunday's 22-12 victory over the Patriots provides a lot of "for the first time since…" statistics. The 250 yards on the ground for Miami were the most since 2016 (261 in Week 16 at Buffalo) and were the most allowed by a Patriots defense since 2013.
Running back Salvon Ahmed is the first Dolphins running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark since the 2018 season. His 122 yards were the most by an undrafted rookie in franchise history. The Dolphins' 250 rushing yards were the 22nd-most in franchise history.
For Miami, the nine wins marks the 31st winning season for the franchise. The Dolphins have won eight of their past 10 games and nine of their past 12. It's the 25th win in the last 40 games at Hard Rock Stadium dating back to the 2016 addition of the canopy.
The Dolphins defense kept New England out of the end zone in the win. It was the third time this season an opposing offense failed to find paydirt against the Dolphins defense; only the Saints and Dolphins have had three games this season without a touchdown allowed.
Cornerback Xavien Howard's forced fumble (recovered by linebacker Elandon Roberts) gives the Dolphins 20 consecutive games with a takeaway – the longest active streak in the NFL.
Dolphins Offensive Rankings
Despite missing Sunday's game, wide receiver Jakeem Grant remains atop the NFL leaderboard in punt return yardage with 323. Matt Haack's 23 punts downed inside the 20-yard-line are the sixth-most in the NFL and kicker Jason Sanders' 30 field goals are second most in the league.
Miami has committed 67 penalties for 539 yards this season – both are the third-fewest in the NFL.
Dolphins Defensive Rankings
|Player||Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)|
|QB Tua Tagovailoa||73 (100%)|
|RB Salvon Ahmed||44 (60%)|
|RB Matt Breida||19 (26%)|
|RB Patrick Laird||8 (11%)|
|WR Mack Hollins||70 (96%)|
|WR Lynn Bowden Jr.||66 (90%)|
|WR Isaiah Ford||54 (74%)|
|WR Malcolm Perry||10 (14%)|
|TE Adam Shaheen||43 (59%)|
|TE Durham Smythe||42 (58%)|
|TE Chris Myarick||3 (4%)|
|OL Austin Jackson||73 (100%)|
|OL Ted Karras||73 (100%)|
|OL Jesse Davis||73 (100%)|
|OL Robert Hunt||73 (100%)|
|OL Solomon Kindley||50 (68%)|
|OL Michael Deiter||23 (32%)|
|OL Julien Davenport||3 (4%)|
|DT Christian Wilkins||3 (4%)|
*stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continued to play at his best against the blitz. The Patriots brought an extra rusher on eight occasions and the rookie quarterback completed 6-of-6 passes for 56 yards and six first downs against five- or six-man pressure packages. He was sacked once against the blitz and scored his three-yard rushing touchdown against a Patriots blitz.
Running back Salvon Ahmed ripped off the longest run for Miami this year (31 yards) and his 122 yards were the most by a Dolphins back on the season. His four missed tackles forced were a season-high for Miami ball carriers and his 2.57 yards after initial contact was fifth on the team for the game.
Matt Breida led all Dolphins running backs with an average of 3.42 yards after initial contact. Wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. carried the ball just once for nine yards, but seven of those came after initial contact. Tagovailoa averaged 4.3 yards after contact and wide receiver Malcolm Perry picked up three yards after initial contact by pushing the pile on his quarterback sneak.
Miami's six carries of 10-plus yards were a season-high.
Tight end Durham Smythe caught all five of his targets for a career-high 40 receiving yards. He produced four first downs and picked up 26 yards after the catch.
Tagovailoa was under pressure on just eight of his 31 drop-backs. Only three of those eight pressures resulted in hits on the rookie quarterback as Jesse Davis, Michael Deiter and Ted Karras pitched pass protection clean sheets (no sacks, hits or hurries allowed).
|Player||Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)|
|DT Raekwon Davis||39 (71%)|
|DT Christian Wilkins||29 (53%)|
|DT Zach Sieler||29 (53%)|
|DT Benito Jones||3 (5%)|
|DE Emmanuel Ogbah||33 (60%)|
|DE Shaq Lawson||30 (55%)|
|LB Kyle Van Noy||55 (100%)|
|LB Jerome Baker||55 (100%)|
|LB Elandon Roberts||46 (84%)|
|LB Andrew Van Ginkel||24 (44%)|
|CB Xavien Howard||55 (100%)|
|CB Byron Jones||55 (100%)|
|CB Nik Needham||32 (58%)|
|CB Jamal Perry||2 (4%)|
|S Eric Rowe||55 (100%)|
|S Brandon Jones||32 (58%)|
|S Bobby McCain||31 (56%)|
*stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted
Defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson along with defensive tackle Raekwon Davis tied for the team-lead with three quarterback pressures apiece. One of Ogbah's pressures was his ninth sack of the season, which is the ninth-most in the NFL. His 21 QB hits are 10th-most and the 59 total pressures are third-most among all edge defenders. He also added two run stops in the game.
Linebackers Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts both registered four run stops apiece. Roberts had a team-high nine total tackles while Baker picked up eight. Baker added to his career-high sack total with his sixth of the season.
The defense as a whole scored 20 tackles within two yards of the line of scrimmage with linebacker Kyle Van Noy, safety Brandon Jones, and defensive tackle Zach Sieler all adding two run stops for Miami. Sieler also added a sack. He has 3.5 on the year.
Safety Eric Rowe allowed just 11 yards receiving on two targets to go along with two run stops and Brandon Jones allowed just 12 yards in coverage with six total tackles and a forced fumble in the game.
Cornerback Xavien Howard produced another takeaway courtesy of his first forced fumble of the season. He also held the Patriots passing game to just 35 yards on the day. His counterpart, Byron Jones, held the Patriots to just 23 yards in the game.