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Miami Dolphins 2021 Week 6 Report Card

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Miami Dolphins 2021 Week 6 Report Card

The Miami Dolphins’ losing streak continued Sunday with perhaps the most disappointing loss of the season, a 23-20 setback against the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England.

Here’s the weekly breakdown on how each position group performed:

Early Newspaper

Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa had overall a pretty solid performance in his return to the lineup. He completed 33 of 47 passes for 329 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, with a 95.1 passer rating. There were some beautiful throws among his completions, including a perfectly lofted pass down the middle to tight end Mike Gesicki for a 22-yard completion. Tua also did a very nice job of standing in the pocket on the first third down of the game to complete a 9-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle. Tua did some nice work with his scrambling, including a 7-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal on the first drive of the game. The not-so-good moments included obviously his interception, his decision to throw while scrambling on third-and-2 instead of taking the easy first down and then throwing a short completion in the middle of the field to Malcolm Brown at the end of the first half. Grade: B

Running backs

Woof, this was not a good day for this group, and it went way beyond Malcolm Brown getting stuffed for no gain on that crucial fourth-and-1 after the two-minute warning (because that one really wasn’t his fault). Myles Gaskin had a very difficult day catching the ball, and that’s being kind. He dropped a couple of passes, including a key third-down drop on the Dolphins’ next-to-last possession. And one of his two receptions, he did catch the ball, but not before he bobbled it allowed defenders time to converge on him on a swing pass. Brown had a 16-yard run and Salvon Ahmed had a 15-yard reception on the opening drive, but that was it for highlights for the running backs, who averaged barely more than 3 yards per carry. Grade: D+

Wide receivers

With DeVante Parker and Preston Williams out with injuries and Will Fuller on IR, this pretty much was the Jaylen Waddle  and Mack Hollins show at wide receiver, and the results were pretty good. Waddle had a second double-digit game in his rookie season, with 10 catches for 70 yards, and scored the team’s two touchdowns. His long gain was only 14 yards, but he overall did a pretty good job of maximizing each play. He did, however, committ a false start on the first drive. Hollins had four catches for 61 yards and would have (maybe should have) had another 25-yard reception had it not been for a fairly questionable offensive pass interference called against him. Albert Wilson caught two passes, including a third-down conversion, and Isaiah Ford was targeted only once. Grade: B

Tight ends

The numbers will say the Dolphins tight ends had a very productive game, but there were mistakes that combined to undo a lot of the good work. Mike Gesicki had eight catches for 115 yards (the second 100-yard game of his career), but was guilty not once but twice of running a route too short on third down to create fourth-down situations after a reception. The second time happened right before Brown was stuffed on the game-changing fourth-down play. Smythe tied his career high with five catches and set a new personal best with 59 yards, but it was his missed block against linebacker Josh Allen that more than anything derailed that fourth-down run by Brown. Allen slid inside of Smythe at the line to meet Brown in the backfield. And let’s not forget Cethan Carter’s costly holding penalty on the Dolphins’ second drive, which forced the Dolphins to settle for a field goal after they had a first-and-goal. Grade: C-

Offensive line

Tua was pressured on a couple of occasions, but he wasn’t sacked once and the pass protection overall was very good. In fact, look back at his 20-yard fourth-down completion to Hollins and see just how long Tua has to set up and deliver the pass. Good stuff. The run blocking, of course, was a different story and there were too many instances of the guys up front failing to get any push. Jesse Davis also lost his matchup on Brown’s fourth-down run and there was another clear instance of Robert Hunt losing a one-on-one battle to ruin a running play. Guard Austin Jackson and tackle Liam Eichenberg each was flagged for a false start. It was by no means a perfect effort, but the offensive line was not the reason this game was lost. Grade: C

Defensive line

Christian Wilkins came up with the signature play of the game for the defense when he got around right tackle Jawaan Taylor and caused a Trevor Lawrence fumble with a sack and Zach Sieler recovered. Emmanuel Ogbah had a second sack on Jacksonville’s final drive of the game and forced Trevor Lawrence out of the pocket on another play. Outside of a 24-yard run that set up Jacksonville’s second touchdown, where Raekwon Davis looked to get neutralized at the line, the run defense did a good job on James Robinson. Grade: C+

Linebackers

Jerome Baker appeared to be used as a blitzer more often than usual this season and he had some success in forcing Lawrence to get rid of the ball quickly. He also came up big on the fourth-and-1 play in the fourth quarter when he shot through the line of dropped Robinson for no gain. Andrew Van Ginkel had one of his better games of 2021, including batting a pass at the line and making a couple of nice stops on running plays. Jaelan Phillips had a very quiet game, though he does deserve credit for setting the edge on a running play to force Robinson to cut inside, where he was tackled for no gain. Elandon Roberts forced a third-down incompletion with pressure on the drive that ended with the fourth-down stop. Grade: B-

Secondary

The Dolphins had to play this game without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, putting 2020 Noah Igbinoghene in the starting lineup and on the field for every play. Igbinoghene was on the wrong end of two of the biggest completions by Lawrence, both to Marvin Jones Jr., both when Igbinoghene had good coverage but simply couldn’t make a play on the ball. Rookie safety Jevon Holland started and played the whole game and had some good and bad moments that included a pass breakup with a perfectly timed hit on the receiver but then a roughness penalty when he made helmet-to-helmet contact with tight end Dan Arnold, though the contact clearly appeared to be incidental. Eric Rowe had a fairly quiet game, though he caught a break on Jacksonville’s first drive when he was beaten inside by Arnold, who then proceeded to drop a perfectly thrown pass. The bottom line here, though, is that Lawrence passed for 319 yards and the defensive backs just didn’t make enough plays. Grade: C-

Special teams

Beyond the kickers attempting long field goals (and, in case of Jacksonville making them), there wasn’t much happening in the kicking game. Jason Sanders was 2-for-3 on field goal attempts, but the one miss came on a 58-yarder at the end of the first half. The miss itself isn’t egregious, but it was eye-opening how far left Sanders pushed the kick. Sanders did come back with a very effective kickoff in the fourth quarter that he bounced straight up around the 6-yard line, leading to a 5-yard return that pinned the Jaguars to start a drive. Jaylen Waddle fair-caught on his two punt returns and his kickoff returns went for 18 and 20 yards. Punter Michael Palardy had two punts inside the 20, but when the Dolphins needed a boomer punting from their 12 late in the first half, he could only deliver a 37-yard kick. Not good enough. The Dolphins didn’t give up any long returns. Grade: C+

Source:
Miami Dolphins 2021 Week 6 Report Card – Sports Illustrated Miami Dolphins News, Analysis and More