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Inside the Numbers: Midseason Recap

Entering their Week 10 bye, the Miami Dolphins sit atop the AFC East at 6-3. The offense leads the league in numerous categories and the defense continues to progress each week under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

We go Inside the Numbers, presented by BDO, to take a look at the most notable team stats, individual metrics, milestones and more from Miami's first nine games of the 2023 season.

Consistent Progress Defensively

The Dolphins are allowing 322.4 yards per game (11th) in 2023. But specifically over the last five weeks (5-9), Miami's defense is holding opposing offenses to 280.8 yards per game (4th), 4.5 yards per play (3rd), 92.4 rushing yards per game (8th), 188.4 passing yards per game (8th), 18.2 first downs per game (7th) and a 29.0% conversion rate on third down (4th).

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) at the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023 in Frankfurt, Germany. (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins)

Getting to the Quarterback

Miami also has a 11.8% sack rate on pass attempts (4th) in Weeks 5-9. Linebacker Bradley Chubb, who leads the team with 6.0 sacks, and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett are the only two players in the league with at least 6.0 sacks and four forced fumbles this season. 

Chubb joins Trace Armstrong (2000), Jason Taylor (2006) and Cameron Wake (2015) as the only Dolphins players to record at least 6.0 sacks and four forced fumbles in the first nine games of a season since at least 1994.

Miami is also creating pressure from its interior linemen as well. Defensive tackle Zach Sieler has a career-high 4.0 sacks and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has already matched his previous single-season high in sacks (4.5) and is one shy of his previous single-season high in quarterback hits (13).

Miami (Chubb, Wilkins, Sieler and LB Andrew Van Ginkel) and the Los Angeles Chargers are the only two NFL teams with four players who have recorded at least 4.0 sacks this season.

On the other side of the ball, Miami's offensive line has allowed just 15 sacks through nine weeks, the fifth-best mark in the league.

Setting the Pace

Miami (435.3) is the only team in the NFL averaging over 400 yards of offense per game. The Dolphins also lead the league in passing yards per game (287.4) and points per game (31.7).

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has an NFL-best 2,609 passing yards and is first in passing touchdowns (19), passer rating (106.4), second in yards per attempt (8.5) and fourth in completion percentage (69.5). His 466 passing yards against the Chargers in Week 1 is the second most by a quarterback in a game this season. It was the first of four 300-yard passing games for Tagovailoa thus far.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who became the first player in the Super Bowl era to reach 1,000 receiving yards in the first eight games of a season, has been extremely productive in the passing game. He leads the NFL in receiving yards (1,076) and touchdown receptions (eight), and is second in receptions (69) and first downs (51) amongst all offensive players.

Hill has tallied four of the league's top 16 single-game receiving totals this season and has five 100-yard performances. His four touchdown receptions on third down is tied for first in the NFL.

Maintaining a Balance on Offense

The Dolphins have made quite the improvement this season in running the ball. Miami averaged 86.9 rushing yards per game (29th) through the first nine weeks of the 2022 season. Entering Week 10 of the 2023 season, the Dolphins boast the NFL's second-ranked rushing attack at 147.9 yards per game.

Running back Raheem Mostert has been a key contributor to Miami's rushing success. He leads the league with 11 rushing touchdowns and is tied with 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey for the league lead with 13 total touchdowns.

Mostert is the NFL's fourth-leading rusher (605 yards) while rookie running back De'Von Achane is the league's 17th-leading rusher (460 yards) despite having just 38 carries so far this season.

Achane's 203-yard performance in Miami's 70-20 win over Denver is the most rushing yards by any player in a game this season as no other player has even topped 180 yards. His 76-yard touchdown run against the New York Giants is the second-longest run of the season.

Mostert (78), Hill (48) and Achane (42) make up three of the 11 NFL players (non-kickers) that have scored over 40 points this season.

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