Nothing cleanses the sour taste of a disappointing defeat like a dominant victory over a division rival. From the opening whistle to triple zeroes, Miami never took it's foot off the gas pedal in a three-phased win against the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium.
Here are the three takeaways from the Dolphins' 30-0 win over the Jets.
1. Record-Breaking Raheem
Records that stand for nearly 40 years are tough to break. Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert did just that Sunday when he made his 19th and 20th visits to paydirt in the Dolphins' 14th game of the season. Mark Clayton's team total touchdown record (18, 1984) wasn't the only one that fell. Mostert also took down Ricky Williams' record of 16 rushing touchdowns (2002).
"It's something that I didn't necessarily think I would ever do, especially with a guy like Ricky Williams and the rushing touchdowns," Mostert said. "I thought the world of him, because me being from Florida, you watch certain players, and he was definitely a player that caught my eye at an early age."
Nobody takes pride in rushing records like an offensive line.
"It's an honor, man. It's a pleasure to block for him," left tackle Terron Armstead said. "He makes our jobs easy. He's in the history book."
Mostert is running away with the rushing touchdown crown for the 2023 season, and he's just two yards behind Buffalo's James Cook for the second-most rushing yards in the NFL this season (966). With 34 more rushing yards, Mostert will become the first 30-year-old running back with a 1,000-yard season since Adrian Peterson in 2018, and just the 23rd player in his 30's in the Super Bowl era to accomplish that feat.
2. Sweet Home Alabama
Sunday marked the first start by Tua Tagovailoa since 2021 in which he didn't have Tyreek Hill at his disposal.
Without the best receiver on the planet, Tagovailoa threw just three incomplete passes and posted a 119.4 passer rating against a defense that has limited quarterbacks to a cumulative rating of 79.5 this season. The southpaw posted the best rating against the Jets defense this year and is responsible for two of the top five ratings they have allowed in 2023. Both of his games against the Jets produced higher ratings than Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts managed in their starts against this top-flight pass defense.
Tagovailoa's primary target was his former college teammate, Jaylen Waddle. The Penguin, who is now just 34 yards away from becoming the first Dolphins receiver ever to post three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, had 118 of his 142 yards at halftime.
It was Waddle's third 100-yard game of the season – two of which came against the Jets.
3. Opposing QB's worst nightmare
Before the Seahawks-Eagles Monday night tilt, the Dolphins rank second in the league in sacks with 48, which is just one shy of the team record of 49. Miami is tops in the league in QB hits with 117. Most of the teams near the top of these lists feature a single sack artist who carries the load with contributions from the rest of the squad.
For Miami, it's a total team effort. Bradley Chubb (9.5), Christian Wilkins (8.0) and Zach Sieler (7.5) all rank inside the top 30 for sacks this season. Wilkins and Sieler are third and fourth respectively among defensive tackles (Justin Madubuike and Denico Autry).
Even deeper, the Fins are the only team with four players inside the top 40 (Jaelan Phillips, 6.5) and five in the top 50 (Emmanuel Ogbah, 6.0).
That swarming rush was on display Sunday as Miami dumped Jets quarterbacks five times in the first half and six total. At halftime, Miami had outgained the Jets 197 yards to four.
The turnovers began to pile up as well. Of Chubb's three sacks, two produced forced fumbles giving him six for the season, which leads the NFL.
Brandon Jones doubled his career interception total with two second-half picks after only having one previous interception.
Miami did all of this without three starters in the secondary. The absence of Xavien Howard put the shadow role on Jalen Ramsey covering Jets star receiver Garrett Wilson. Per Next Gen Stats, Wilson was covered by Ramsey on 23 of his 42 routes ran, garnering just one target, a ball that was broken up by Ramsey on third down.
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