The Dolphins notched an important victory on Monday night as they beat the Saint 20-3. This win puts the Dolphins in the playoffs for now as seven seed in the AFC. Furthermore, it extends the Dolphins’ winning streak to seven games. Miami was once a 1-7 team, as their playoff hopes looked bleak. This is the first time in NFL history that a team has had this big of a turnaround. Miami beat the Saint by using the tactics that they are known for which is a very heavy blitzing defense. This article will recap the Miami Dolphins Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints.
Jaylen Waddle shined
The Dolphins’ offense really struggled for a lot of this game. Points were hard to come by with a stout New Orleans defense. The Dolphin’s saving grace was their rookie first-round pick out of Alabama Jaylen Waddle. Waddle had 12 passes thrown to him and caught ten of those passes. Furthermore, he racked up 92 yards with those ten catches and a touchdown. He did this with his great route running and his speed. Waddle also catches most of the balls that are thrown to him which makes him very consistent and is a big reason why he is Tagovailoas’ favorite target.
He also made history last night as he surpassed Jerry Rice‘s for most receptions in a rookie season. With only two games left, Waddle has a chance to have a 1,000 yard rushing season as a rookie as he has 941 yards on the year already. He also has five touchdowns on the season.
The defense came up big
The Dolphins’ defense really lifted a struggling offense throughout the entirety of the game. The Dolphins did this with their potent blitzing defense. The defense totaled eight sacks during this game, which really stifled rookie quarterback Ian Book, who made his first start on Monday night for the Saints. Emmanuel Ogbah led the way in the Sack department with two sacks. Other players who got in the action were Zach Sieler, Xavien Howard, Christian Wilkins, Jerome Baker and Raekwon Davis.
OH MY @FOETYY! ????
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 28, 2021
Brandon Jones also got an interception later in the game and returned that for eight yards. As for the tackling, Christian Wilkins led the way in that category as he has eight total tackles. This was one of the best defenses performances thus far the Dolphins. That is saying a lot because they have had a lot of good performances on defense during this seven-game winning streak.
The Dolphins running game
The Dolphins struggled running the ball, which was predictable with New Orleans being in the top ten in the league in run defense. Miami used a combination of Duke Johnson and Phillip Lindsey. They both produced about the same as Johnson had 39 yards and Lindsey had 36 yards. Myles Gaskin who has been the primary back throughout the season did not get much playing time as he has had bright moments but has also struggled a little throughout the season. This lack of a running game has not hurt the Dolphins much, but it would suit them to run the ball better so the field opens for the rest of the offense.
Overall, this was a game where yardage was hard to come by for the offense, but they got the win anyway, which is a sign of a good team. Miami has the Tennessee Titans next week in Nashville, which will be a tough matchup. Tennessee is 10-5 on the season and are first in the AFC south. This concludes the Miami Dolphins Week 16 game recap.