December 22, 2020
The holiday season is fast approaching as the Dolphins are in search of a Christmas celebration in Las Vegas. The second primetime game of the 2020 schedule looms as Miami heads back out west looking to improve to 3-1 in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones this season (wins over San Francisco and Arizona with a loss to Denver).
Today, on The Blitz, we have Isaiah Ford's return to Miami, Xavien Howard heading back to the Pro Bowl and on this date in Dolphins history: the final game at the Orange Bowl.
The first injury report for the Week 16 Dolphins-Raiders game will be available later today.
Stat of the Day
Cornerback Xavien Howard was voted to his second Pro Bowl in just his fifth NFL season. Howard's nine interceptions lead the NFL, and his 21 picks since 2017 are the most in the league over that span.
Pro Football Focus has Howard as the No. 1 graded cornerback in the NFL. He's second in the NFL with a 50.6 completion percentage allowed, and second with a 51.8 passer rating against among cornerbacks with at least 50 pass targets.
They Said It
Isaiah Ford is in his second stint with the Dolphins after being traded to New England earlier this season. Sunday, he played a career-high 54 snaps in Miami's victory over his former team.
Ford discussed coming back to Miami and his approach to returning back to the Dolphins just over a month after the trade.
"It's been a little bit of an adventure to say the least, but the thing that I've tried to do throughout the entire thing was just to control what I can control and focus on getting a little bit better each day, whether I was in Miami or I was in Foxborough," Ford said. "So just trying to work on my craft and get better and learn as much as I can, and I'm just happy to be back now."
"I would say I'm just extremely grateful that this organization would allow me to come back," he continued. "I think that speaks on how I've tried to carry myself on and off the field and how I've worked on and off the field as well, so I've always tried to be as good a teammate as I can and always worked extremely hard as I could and tried to learn and soak up as much knowledge and information as I could."
Ford caught three passes for 18 yards in his first game back in Miami.
Around the Beat
Peter King's Week 15 Football Morning in America column detailed the circuitous path of Dolphins wide receiver Isaiah Ford to this juncture of the season.
On day three of the 2017 NFL Draft, midway through the seventh round, Miami used the 237th overall pick to pick Virginia Tech wideout Isaiah Ford.
On day three of the 2021 NFL Draft, Miami is scheduled to use New England's seventh-round pick, the pick it acquired to loan its 2017 seventh-round pick to the Patriots for three weeks and zero plays.
Dolphins On Social
On this Day in Dolphins History
December 22, 1986 - The Dolphins play their final game in the Orange Bowl – a 34-27 loss to the New England Patriots. New England captures the AFC East title with the win. The Dolphins finish 21 years in the Orange Bowl with an impressive 110-38-3 (.738) regular-season record. Marino sets NFL single-season records for completions (378) and attempts (623).
Content on Tap
It's a busy day in Davie. We'll hear from the Dolphins coordinators, assistants and select players. We'll cover the day's events on Top News and on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield, a Miami Dolphins podcast. Travis recaps the Dolphins after 15 weeks of the 2020 season, available wherever you get your podcasts.
Tuesday also marks the return of Dolphins Today, available on MiamiDolphins.com and on the team YouTube page.
Finally, we're flashing back to 2001 and the Dolphins emotional win over the Oakland Raiders in the first game back after the 9-11 attacks. Jay Fiedler joined drive time to talk about the emotional week, pre-game, and the game winning touchdown drive that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.