November 25, 2020
The players are back at it for Week 12 preparations. It's rivalry week as the Dolphins will head to the Meadowlands in search of the seventh victory of the season and first in the home of the Jets since September of 2018.
Today, we're looking at Miami's strong special teams, Thanksgiving Day memories and former linebacker Zach Thomas' 2021 bid for Canton.
The first injury report for Dolphins-Jets will be available this afternoon.
They Said It
Safety Clayton Fejedelem carved out a role early in his career as a special teams ace with the Cincinnati Bengals. Just six short months after signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Dolphins in 2020, Fejedelem was named a captain of Danny Crossman's special teams unit.
Fejedelem missed the first three games of the season with an injured pectoral muscle, but he's returned in a big way. In the Week 10 victory over the Chargers, Fejedelem had a key quarterback pressure on a third-down stop for the Dolphins defense. Sunday in Denver, Fejedelem recorded three special teams stops, the most by a Dolphins player this season.
"It was very big getting (Fejedelem) back," Crossman said. "We had high expectations when he brought him in. Unfortunately he had the injury and missed the first several weeks of the season, and now really trying to pick up to where we thought he would be and really hitting his stride as you said. (He was) part of several tackles, a couple assists and really played a good overall game on Sunday."
Around the Beat
Former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas is on the ballot once again in hopes of finding his place in Canton. The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All Pro racked up 1,734 career tackles with 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald has more on Thomas' bid for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas is among the 25 players who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.
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On this Day in Dolphins History
November 25, 1993 - The Dolphins posted a come-from-behind 16-14 win over the defending and eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day on a sleet covered field at Texas Stadium. In the contest, Miami trails 14-13 with just 15 seconds left in regulation and Pete Stoyanovich's 41-yard field goal attempt for the win is blocked by the Cowboys' Jimmie Jones. However, Dallas' Leon Lett attempts to pick up the loose ball and fumbles and Miami's Jeff Dellenbach recovers the ball on the one-yard line with three seconds remaining. Stoyanovich converts on his second chance and boots a 19-yard field goal on the game's final play to win the contest.
Stat of the Day
Despite missing the first three games of the season, Clayton Fejedelem is tied for the team lead in special teams tackles with six (four solo). He owns the highest grade from PFF among special teams players at 76.7 just inching out linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill (74.4) and Andrew Van Ginkel (73.8).
Know the Jets
Jets Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is no stranger to turning up the heat. This year, the Jets send an extra rusher at the 10th-most frequent clip in the NFL (30.9 percent). Last season, Williams' defense blitzed at a 39.2 clip, fourth-most in the NFL.
Four of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's six touchdown passes have come against the blitz, making this a matchup to watch.
Content on Tap
The Dolphins-Jets preview edition of the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield will post this afternoon, along with all the day's events on Top News. Plus, we'll break down the key matchups for Sunday's game with the written preview on MiamiDolphins.com