December 16, 2020
Today, on The Blitz, we go inside the emergence of rookie wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. and take a look at his path to the NFL. Plus, on this date in Dolphins history, the 1972 team clinches an undefeated regular season and we detail perhaps the most important element of Sunday's game against the Patriots.
The first injury report for Dolphins-Patriots will be available this afternoon.
They Said It
Through the first five games of Bowden's career, the rookie wide receiver was targeted twice in the passing game with four rushing attempts. He played 45 snaps as he continued to acclimate to a new system. Arriving in September, Bowden wasn't in camp with the Dolphins during the initial install periods of practice.
"It does take some time to actually learn the playbook once he got here, and going through walkthroughs and just trying to get the basic information on what we call formations, motions and things of that nature," Dolphins Wide Receivers Coach Josh Grizzard said. "At this point of the season, it's very game specific on how those things adjust."
Over the last two games, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa targeted Bowden 13 times producing 11 receptions and 123 yards. He was the team's leading receiver last week in the process of nearly doubling the targets he received over the first 13 weeks of the season.
"When things took place like that in the game (Sunday), we all were ready to go in and fill in where we needed to be," Bowden said. "It was stuff like that that we prepared for – the extra walkthroughs coach gave us and a lot of stuff that you guys really don't see how we prepare to keep us ready for stuff like that."
Around the Beat
Adaptability isn't a newly learned trait for Bowden. He moved to quarterback in college after injuries to the starter and backup at the University of Kentucky went down with injuries. With a pair of injuries at wide out Sunday for the Dolphins, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald points to the parallels in Bowden's college and professional football story arcs.
A rash of midseason injuries forces Lynn Bowden Jr., a dynamic, do-everything offensive weapon, to significantly change his role and become even more of a factor on his offense than originally planned.
Dolphins On Social
On this Day in Dolphins History
December 16, 1972 – The Dolphins achieve the NFL's first 14-0 regular-season record and break the NFL rushing record with 2,960 yards by defeating Baltimore, 16-0, at the Orange Bowl.
Stat of the Day
Bowden's electric play style was evident by his sophomore year at Kentucky. He scored five touchdowns as a wide receiver and two more as a return man. He managed the two punt return touchdowns despite only five returns on the season averaging 29.2 yards per return.
Know the Patriots
The turnover battle could be the deciding factor in the game Sunday. The Patriots have only four giveaways in their six victories this season. In the seven defeats, New England has turned it over 14 times.
Content on Tap
Head Coach Brian Flores, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a handful of Dolphins players will meet with the media today as the team begins on-field preparations for the Patriots. We'll cover the day's latest, including the Wednesday injury report, on Top News.
Plus, Wednesday brings us the weekly preview piece on MiamiDolphins.com as we take an in-depth look at the critical Week 15 game vs. New England on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Finally, all of the day's events will be covered on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield, part of the Miami Dolphins podcast network.
Pro Bowl voting closes this week. Make sure to cast your votes on NFL.com.