Friday Injury Report and Roster Moves
The Miami Dolphins today announced they have elevated defensive tackle Benito Jonesand tight end Chris Myarickas COVID-19 replacements for Sunday's game.
Dolphins Injury Report:
Running back Matt Breida (hamstring), cornerback Jamal Perry (foot) and tight end Durham Smythe (concussion) are all QUESTIONABLE.
Chargers Injury Report:
Defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion) and running back Justin Jackson (knee) are OUT.
Offensive tackle Byran Bulaga (back), offensive guard Trai Turner (groin), and running back Troymaine Pope (neck) are QUESTIONABLE.
For the rest of the Dolphins-Chargers Week 10 injury report, click here.
Motivation and the Emotional Game
Opposing quarterbacks have been under constant duress this season when facing Miami. According to Pro Football Reference, the Dolphins 36.2 percent blitz rate is the fourth-highest in the NFL, and those blitz packages have been effective. Miami ranks sixth in quarterback knockdown percentage (10.1 percent), 14th in pressure rate (22.9 percent) and the 20 sacks recorded by the Dolphins defense is tied for 13th-most in the NFL.
Miami only got to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray once in Sunday's 34-31 win in Arizona, but it was a game-changing sack. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah jarred the ball free and his counterpart – defensive end Shaq Lawson – scooped it up and scored.
Despite the one sack, the Dolphins were close many times. Miami pressured the slippery quarterback 12 times, prompting an inspired message on the sideline from Flores.
"I think it's an emotional game, so especially late in the game, in those critical moments, as a coach you try to encourage the guys," Flores said. "Our coaching staff has done a really good job of that – encouraging them and tell them what's expected of them and what we need to try to win the game. And I think the players, they've received it the right way. It's about that group of guys and trying to execute and to have it reciprocated, that's par for the course for the group we have."
The eight quarterbacks the Dolphins have had the task of slowing down this season offer a variety of challenges and skillsets. Murray is on pace to be the first ever quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000, while Rams quarterback Jared Goff is the league's preeminent thrower off play action (widest gap in passer rating between play action and non-play action passes, per Pro Football Focus).
Sunday, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert offers the ability to shred defenses from both the pocket and on the move. Ogbah discussed the different approaches required for different quarterbacks.
"How you rush Goff, you can't rush Kyler like that because Kyler will move around and can beat you with his feet," he said. "Yeah, it's a different approach when you rush. More so with Kyler, you're more so power rushing. With Goff, you can take your chances. It just depends on the quarterback we play."
Whatever Ogbah is doing is working. If he sacks Herbert on Sunday, it would be his sixth straight game bringing the opposing quarterback down. That mark would tie for the second-longest streak in franchise history
Ogbah's hot start is catching national attention. This week, he appeared on The Peter King Podcast.
The Dolphins offense is averaging 27.8 points per game, ninth-best in the NFL. The only time Miami averaged more points per game for a full season was the illustrious 1984 season when quarterback Dan Marino threw for 48 touchdowns and 5,084 yards.
Times have changed in the modern, offensive-centric era, but the Dolphins are scoring in all three phases with regularity. The defense put points on the board in each of the last two games and kicker Jason Sanders is a perfect 17-for-17 en route to the 10th-most points scored (72) by any player in the NFL this season.
There's more to the kicking game than the swing of the leg. The blocking is important, the snap is imperative and the hold is crucial. Sanders had an opportunity in his Friday media availability to rave about his battery-mates in long snapper Blake Ferguson and punter/holder Matt Haack.
"To be able to have a group that's together for a good amount of time, like with Blake and Matt, we get a lot of work in the offseason so when the season comes around, we can have a nice smooth operation," Sanders said. "I think that smooth operation makes your kicking that much easier too."