Inside the Numbers: Dolphins 34 Cardinals 31

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.

Dolphins-Cardinals

(These statistical rankings do not include the Week 9 Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets).

The Dolphins' 5-3 start to the season is the best for the franchise through eight games since 2014. The Dolphins have now scored 21-plus points in seven consecutive games, the team's longest such streak since an eight-game stretch from the end of 2001 into the start of 2002.

Miami's four-game winning streak is tied with Kansas City for the third-longest active mark behind only the eight-game streak of Pittsburgh and five-game streak of New Orleans. The Dolphins are now +61 this season, the fourth-best point differential in the NFL.

The first half has been a playground for the Dolphins offense in recent weeks. For the fourth consecutive game, Miami scored at least 21 points in the opening half. It marks the second time the Dolphins have scored 21+ points in the first half of four consecutive games (the other in 1977).

The Dolphins now have a takeaway in 15 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind Baltimore (21 games).

Dolphins Offensive Rankings

Table inside Article
Stat Total NFL Rank
Points Per Game 27.8 10th
Total Offense 322.9 28th
Rushing 97.1 28th
Passing 225.8 23rd
3rd Down Conv. 38.9% 26th
Sacks Allowed 14 t-11th

Jason Sanders made two field goals on Sunday, including a career-long from 56 yards. Dating back to last season, Sanders has made 20 consecutive field goals, the most in franchise history. He's a perfect 17-for-17 on the season and the only kicker in the NFL with 12 or more makes without a missed field goal.

Punter Matt Haack is ninth in the NFL with a 42.3 net punting average. His 16 punts downed inside the 20-yard-line are tied for fourth.

Jakeem Grant's 237 punt return yards leads the NFL and the 13.9 average yards per return ranks third (min. 5 returns).

The Dolphins have committed 38 penalties, tied for the fourth-lowest in the NFL. The 325 penalty yards assessed against Miami are the eighth-lowest.

Table inside Article
Stat Total NFL Rank
Points Per Game 20.1 t-4th
Total Defense 384.3 22nd
Rushing Defense 131.8 25th
Passing Defense 252.5 21st
3rd Down Defense 34.4% 4th
Sacks 20 t-12th
Takeaways 14 t-4th

Offense

Snap Counts

Table inside Article
Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Tua Tagovailoa 61 (100%)
RB Salvon Ahmed 28 (46%)
RB Jordan Howard 21 (34%)
RB Patrick Laird 12 (20%)
FB Chandler Cox 9 (15%)
WR DeVante Parker 55 (90%)
WR Jakeem Grant 29 (48%)
WR/RB Malcolm Perry 23 (38%)
WR Mack Hollins 17 (28%)
WR Preston Williams 17 (28%)
WR Kirk Merritt 1 (2%)
TE Mike Gesicki 43 (70%)
TE Durham Smythe 25 (41%)
TE Adam Shaheen 24 (39%)
OL Jesse Davis 61 (100%)
OL Ereck Flowers 61 (100%)
OL Ted Karras 61 (100%)
OL Robert Hunt 61 (100%)
OL Austin Jackson 46 (75%)
OL Solomon Kindley 15 (25%)
OL Julie'n Davenport 1 (2%)

*All stats in this portion are from Pro Football Focus unless otherwise stated

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa posted a Total QBR of 87.6 yesterday, the sixth-best mark among quarterbacks in Week 9. His 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mack Hollins carried a completion probability of 16.4 percent per NFL Next Gen Stats, the 11th-lowest probably on a completion in the NFL this season, showcasing what a great grab it was by Hollins.

When under pressure, Tagovailoa completed 5-of-6 passes for 60 yards, moving the chains on all five completions. Against the blitz, he completed 9-of-15 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Salvon Ahmed led the team in rushing in his NFL debut and did so averaging 2.43 yards after initial contact. That number led all backs, but Tagovailoa's 2.57 average yards after contact led the team on the day.

Wide receiver Preston Williams produced 60 yards and a touchdown on just five targets, an average of 12 yards per target. DeVante Parker caught six of his seven targets for 64 yards (9.14 YPT) and Jakeem Grant caught all four of his targets for 35 yards (8.75 YPT).

Tight end Mike Gesicki picked up 42 yards by catching three of his four pass targets. His 331 receiving yards are 10th among tight ends in the NFL and fifth among AFC tight ends.

Left guard Ereck Flowers and center Ted Karras pitched pass-protection shutouts. On the season, the two have combined for only 15 pressures allowed on 604 pass-blocking snaps.

Defense

Snap Counts

Table inside Article
Player Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DT Christian Wilkins 52 (75%)
DT Zach Sieler 39 (57%)
DT Raekwon Davis 37 (54%)
DE Emmanuel Ogbah 54 (78%)
DE Shaq Lawson 28 (41%)
DE Jason Strowbridge 12 (17%)
LB Kyle Van Noy 69 (100%)
LB Jerome Baker 52 (75%)
LB Elandon Roberts 50 (72%)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 24 (35%)
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill 10 (14%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 2 (3%)
CB Byron Jones 69 (100%)
CB Xavien Howard 69 (100%)
CB Nik Needham 38 (55%)
S Bobby McCain 69 (100%)
S Eric Rowe 69 (100%)
S Brandon Jones 15 (22%)

Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah is on a tear. He recorded a sack for the fifth straight game bringing his season total to seven, which is tied for fourth in the NFL. His 34 quarterback pressures are tied for sixth among edge defenders and the 16 run stops are tied for 14th at his position. He also has three batted passes, tied for second in the NFL among edge defenders.

Ogbah's counterpart, defensive end Shaq Lawson, led the team with three pressures and made it back-to-back weeks with a scoop and score for the Dolphins defense on his 36-yard rumble to the house.

Lawson picked up a key block on the play from rookie safety Brandon Jones. Two of Jones' three tackles were good for run stops and the rookie added a quarterback pressure.

Linebacker Jerome Baker made seven tackles, giving him 64 for the season, tied for 16th in the NFL. Five of those tackles were run stops (within two yards of the line of scrimmage). He also limited Arizona to two completions on five pass targets and just 20 yards total.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy made five tackles (three for run stops), batted down a pass and had two quarterback pressures.

Defensive tackle Zach Sieler pitched in with three run stops (most notably the tackle on the fourth-and-1 stuff in the fourth quarter) and a quarterback pressure. Christian Wilkins made four run stops in the game, giving him 18 for the season. That mark is tied for eighth-best in the NFL among interior defensive linemen.

Cornerback Nik Needham allowed just seven yards receiving in the game and added a quarterback pressure.

Next Man Up

By the end of the night, 961 snaps from offensive skill players were no longer available to the Dolphins. Entering play, Miami was without running backs Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin along with wide receiver Lynn Bowden. During the game, wide receiver Preston Williams and tight end Durham Smythe had to exit with injuries.

Yet, the Miami offense remained unflappable. The Dolphins posted the second-highest point total (34) of the season and garnered contributions from an array of players stepping up in key moments.

"We had some guys banged up in the first half, then they were able to come back," Tagovailoa said. "We persevered as an offense. We knew we didn't have a lot of the guys out there that we called certain plays for, but we made it work. I think that was the beauty of everyone coming together."

Ahmed made his NFL debut and wound up with the third-longest run (19 yards) of the season for Miami. Patrick Laird helped Miami inch into field goal range at the end of the first half with a 17-yard reception, his fifth touch of the year. Laird surpassed his scrimmage yards total (11 yards entering play) on that reception.

"I talked about our mental toughness last week, I think that showed up again today," Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores said Sunday. "Hard-fought victory. We had a lot of people step up and help and it was definitely a team victory."

Tagovailoa completed passes to seven different targets. All but one of Parker's six catches in the game were recorded after Williams left with the foot injury. At the time of his exit, Williams was the team's leading receiver with 60 yards. Parker ended the game with 64 yards.

Hollins caught his first pass since the Dolphins claimed the 6-foot-4 wide out off waivers last December, and it was a big one. Hollins found the end zone with a toe-tap touchdown and a defender draped all over him.

"With Mack (Hollins) catching a touchdown and the completions we were able to get to our tight ends, DeVante (Parker), Jakeem (Grant Sr.) and some plays dumping it down to the running backs," Tagovailoa said. "It was one of those things where that's what the defense gave us, and that's what we were going to take."

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