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 8 Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
For the third game this season, the Dolphins raced out to halftime lead of at least 18 points. The last time an NFL team had at least three halftime leads of 18 points or more was the 2004 Indianapolis Colts, the same year Peyton Manning broke the single-season touchdown pass record (49).
The Dolphins are now +58 in point differential this season, sixth-best in the NFL.
Sunday was the first time in exactly 11 years (Nov. 1, 2009 at N.Y. Jets) that the Dolphins scored offensive, defensive and special teams return touchdowns in the same game.
Since the Hard Rock Stadium renovations were completed in 2016, Miami is 22-14 inside their home building. The Dolphins are winners of three in a row, four of the last five and nine of the last 16 games.
Dolphins Offensive Rankings
|Points Per Game||26.9||11th|
|3rd Down Conv.||37.8||29th|
|Sacks Allowed||11||t-9th fewest|
The Dolphins have committed 31 accepted penalties (third-fewest) and have had 250 yards assessed against (fourth-fewest) this season.
Wide receiver Jakeem Grant registered the only punt return touchdown in the NFL this season when he broke an 88-yard house call. The punt return was the longest in franchise history and Grant, with five, rewrote his own franchise record for most special teams return touchdowns (three punts and two kickoffs) in Dolphins history. Grant is now first in the NFL in punt return yardage (227).
Punter Matt Haack had a big day. He's now ninth in the NFL with a 42.3 net punting average and is fourth with 15 punts downed inside the 20-yard-line.
Dolphins Defensive Rankins
|Points Per Game||18.6||1st|
|3rd Down Conv.||33.3%||t-2nd|
|Player||Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)|
|QB Tua Tagovailoa||49 (100%)|
|RB Myles Gaskin||43 (88%)|
|RB Matt Breida||8 (16%)|
|RB/WR Malcolm Perry||7 (14%)|
|WR Preston Williams||44 (90%)|
|WR DeVante Parker||29 (59%)|
|WR Isaiah Ford||17 (35%)|
|WR Jakeem Grant||16 (33%)|
|WR Mack Hollins||2 (4%)|
|TE Durham Smythe||32 (65%)|
|TE Mike Gesicki||28 (57%)|
|TE Adam Shaheen||16 (33%)|
|OL Jesse Davis||49 (100%)|
|OL Ereck Flowers||49 (100%)|
|OL Ted Karras||49 (100%)|
|OL Solomon Kindley||49 (100%)|
|OL Robert Hunt||49 (100%)|
|OL Adam Pankey||2 (4%)|
|DT Christian Wilkins||1 (2%)|
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw the first touchdown pass of his career at the end of the first quarter to wide receiver DeVante Parker. NFL Next Gen Stats registered the separation between Parker and the nearest defender at .28 yards, the smallest window on a touchdown pass in the NFL this season.
The touchdown for Parker was the 10th in his past 18 games played. Since Week 7 of the 2019 season, his 10 receiving touchdowns are tied for ninth in the NFL.
Running back Myles Gaskin led the Dolphins in rushing for the sixth game this season with 47 yards. In his last nine games, Gaskin's totaled 125 carries for 485 yards and three touchdowns, and 33 receptions for 230 yards.
Pro Football Focus credited the Dolphins offensive line with four pressures allowed. Left tackle Jesse Davis and center Ted Karras both pitched pass protection clean sheets (no sacks, hits or hurries allowed).
|Player||Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)|
|DT Zach Sieler||65 (68%)|
|DT Christian Wilkins||58 (61%)|
|DT Raekwon Davis||50 (53%)|
|DT Benito Jones||12 (13%)|
|DE Emmanuel Ogbah||69 (73%)|
|DE Shaq Lawson||45 (47%)|
|LB Kyle Van Noy||90 (95%)|
|LB Jerome Baker||75 (79%)|
|LB Andrew Van Ginkel||46 (48%)|
|LB Elandon Roberts||19 (20%)|
|LB Kamu Grugier-Hill||17 (18%)|
|LB Sam Eguavoen||7 (7%)|
|CB Xavien Howard||95 (100%)|
|CB Byron Jones||88 (93%)|
|CB Nik Needham||66 (69%)|
|CB Tae Hayes||15 (16%)|
|CB Noah Igbinoghene||7 (7%)|
|S Bobby McCain||95 (100%)|
|S Eric Rowe||87 (92%)|
|S Brandon Jones||39 (41%)|
*All of the defensive metrics come from Pro Football Focus*
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah's hot streak was not interrupted by the bye week. He racked up seven more quarterback pressures (a sack, a hit and five hurries). He also batted a pass down at the line, made a run stop and forced a fumble that led to a touchdown. His 32 quarterback pressures are fifth-most among all edge defenders trailing only Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt (39), Cleveland's Myles Garrett (38), L.A. Chargers' Joey Bosa (37) and Tampa Bay's Shaq Barrett (35).
His counterpart, defensive end Shaq Lawson, piled up five pressures (a sack and a hit and three hurries) with a run stop and forced fumble.
Inside, defensive tackle Zach Sieler added four quarterback pressures and three run stops while Christian Wilkins applied pressure twice, made a run stop and secured his first career interception.
Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel scooped and scored the second-longest fumble return in franchise history (Jason Taylor 85 yards in Week 1 2005 vs. Denver). He also had a quarterback hit, two hurries, a run stop and did not allow a completion in coverage.
Linebacker Jerome Baker became the first Dolphins defender with 250 tackles in his first three NFL seasons since Channing Crowder (2005-2007). He had two quarterback pressures and held Rams pass catchers to 27 receiving yards on 36 coverage reps.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy added two pressures, made nine total tackles and broke up two passes. Four of the tackles were run stops (tackles within two yards of the line of scrimmage) and he ripped off a 28-yard return on his fumble recovery that set the Dolphins up at the Rams 1-yard-line.
Linebacker Elandon Roberts made four tackles, three of which were good for run stops.
Cornerback Nik Needham was targeted eight times in coverage, allowing only four receptions for 50 yards, an average yards per target of 6.25. Byron Jones allowed only 45 yards on seven targets.
Safety Eric Rowe set the high-water mark for passes defensed in a game in the NFL this season with five. He's tied with Jessie Bates of Cincinnati with eight passes defensed, the most among safeties. On the season, Rowe is allowing just 58.1 percent of targets to be completed for an average of 4.52 yards per target and a passer rating of 66.6.
Safety Bobby McCain was credited with allowing three yards receiving, a passer rating of 79.2 and two tackles without a miss.
Miami Mindset and Mental Toughness
The Dolphins defense is perched among the top of the leaderboard in some of the game's most critical statistical categories. Coaching, execution, variety in the calls and the mindset of playing with confidence and a touch of swagger all contribute to the mid-season accolades,
Eric Rowe discussed the team's confidence in calling Cover 0 (no safeties over the top) and the ability to blanket on the back end while dialing up pressure up front.
"It's just a mindset," Eric Rowe said. "I mean it started out rough but everyone sees the results that it puts the line, the coordinator, the quarterback; it puts pressure on all of them. And the kind of results, I mean quick passes, tipped balls. We're getting turnovers, our sacks, and then we're off the field. Every time we call it, all of us have high confidence."
Christian Wilkins was asked about the progress he's seen from his first year with the Dolphins to the recent success.
"I would say that we just kept getting guys who were just buying in and keep working hard and it starts up top," Wilkins said. (Head Coach Brian Flores) does a good job of setting the mindset for the team – for the organization – and we all just kind of take on that personality."
Flores was most pleased with his team's mental toughness in the victory.
"I thought they showed a lot of mental toughness, and I thought there was a lot of other things going on basically aside from football I would say, and those guys kind of put that stuff to the back burner and really focused and prepared and played well," Flores said.
Over the team's three-game winning streak, opposing offenses are averaging 11.3 points per game. The defense has eight takeaways, 10 sacks and is allowing only 25 percent conversions on third downs. The points allowed is best in football, the takeaways are tied for the most over that span, the sacks are second-most and the third-down percentage allowed is third-best.