It's a Victory Monday for the Dolphins! After winning at the Meadowlands for the second-straight year, Miami improved its mark to 4-7, including three straight wins, and are now 4-1 against the rival Jets since Brian Flores' 2019 arrival. After the road trip, it's back home for three games -- with a bye week sandwiched in between -- and an opportunity for Miami to keep the streak alive. Before we take a look at what's next, let's evaluate the third-straight win for the Dolphins.
As always, for further analysis, download the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.
Check out the top photos from Week 11 - Dolphins at Jets, presented by The Palm Beaches.
1. Tua Time, Winning Time
It's a script that certainly shaves a few days off the lives of Dolphins fans everywhere, but right now, Miami's formula for victory has been consistent. Start the game fast offensively, hit a bit of a lull in the second quarter, then piece together methodical drive after methodical drive to salt the game away.
For quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the strong fourth quarter performances are showing up in the second-year southpaw's QBR. At 58.0 in the cumulative measure of the position, Tagovailoa ranks 10th in the NFL in that category, one spot ahead of Patrick Mahomes and one place behind Josh Allen.
Since Week 6, Tagovailoa is 37-of-49 for 458 yards and four touchdowns and a passer rating of 114.2 in the game's final period. On Sunday, he completed 11-of-12 passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
"It didn't really impress me. He plays good like that all the time," Waddle said of his quarterback. "Nothing really impressed me or like wowed me. It's just the usual, he came to work."
2. Taking the Air Out of the Ball
Waddle's 1-yard rushing touchdown started the scoring at MetLife Stadium, capping off an 85-yard march on the opening possession of the game. Waddle became the second rookie receiver this year to find paydirt via the ground, and while Miami's lead back Myles Gaskin found the forest green paint through the air, his consistent tough runs helped Miami milk that fourth quarter clock and preserve the victory.
Gaskin rushed for 89 yards on 23 attempts and Duke Johnson added 18 on four carries in his Dolphins debut. The 25 rushing yards on the final series helped the Dolphins wind six minutes and 50 seconds off the game clock and kick the field goal that pushed the lead to 10 points with less than two minutes to play. That preceding drive drained even more clock as the Dolphins took seven minutes and 44 seconds to polish off that scoring march (capped by the five-yard Gaskin touchdown reception).
In total, Miami possessed the football for 11 minutes and 53 seconds in the fourth quarter. Before the long, sustained drives, the Dolphins found the end zone in expedited fashion. It was the work of Gaskin and the run game that teed up the longest pass completion in Tagovailoa's career, a 65-yard strike to Mack Hollins to break the third quarter deadlock.
That 90-yard drive took only four plays. Just two snaps before the bomb, Gaskin's 20-yard run on second-and-14 gave the Dolphins a fresh set of downs and brought the offense out of the shadow of its own goalpost.
"What really set it up is the run game," Hollins said of his 65-yard touchdown reception. "We were able to run the ball really well, especially that series. That brings the defense down where you can hit a play action and I was able to sneak behind them and I guess the rest was history."
3. Defense Does Enough
The Jets' decision to start one of the game's most experienced quarterbacks was the topic of conversation on Wednesday when Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh made the declaration. And Joe Flacco delivered a strong performance, throwing for two touchdowns and 291 yards. The ball was out fast, on-time and on-target and into the few vacancies available as a result of the Dolphins frequent cover-0 look.
Still, the Dolphins stop-unit rose up in the biggest occasions and made a handful of plays to hold the Jets offense to 17 points. Brandon Jones recorded his second sack in as many games at MetLife Stadium. The blindside shot jarred the ball free, which was recovered by Christian Wilkins, then fumbled again and recovered by Jevon Holland.
Holland led Miami with six total tackles and another signature play when he skied over Jets wide receiver Corey Davis for a beautiful third-down pass breakup. Fellow rookie Jaelan Phillips picked up another sack (3.5 on the season) to put a stop to another drive -- he also added two more quarterback hits.
The Miami defense has allowed just 36 points over the last three weeks.