The Miami Dolphins finished the season out strong with a 33-24 victory over the New England Patriots. This is the first time since 2000 that the Dolphins have swept the Patriots during a season. If one recalls, Miami beat the Dolphins in Week one of the regular season by a score of 17-16. In this most recent matchup, the Dolphins got off to a hot start but almost let the Patriots come back at the end. This article will recap the Miami Dolphins Week 18 game against the New England Patriots.
How did Tua Tagovailoa do?
Tua Tagovailoa did not have a statistically impressive game Sunday afternoon against New England. He did however lead the offense to victory which is what matters. He went 15/22 for 109 passing yards and one touchdown. The touchdown pass was a beautiful play. Tagovailoa faked the run to Duke Johnson as Waddle ran a wheel route and caught the ball in the corner of the end zone.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) January 9, 2022
Tagovailoa was careful with the ball in this game and did not take many deep shots. His longest pass of the game was a 17-yard pass completion to Durham Smythe. Tagovailoa also avoided the interception which has been tough for him to do this year. The Dolphins mainly focused on running the ball during this game, which is unusual as the Dolphins are usually a pass-first offense. Tagovailoa showed off his speed in this game as he had a 23-yard run. He had a great reaction during this play as he felt the pressure was coming from the New England defense and saw an opening where he could get good yardage on his feet. He ended the day with 38 rushing yards.
The Dolphins Turnovers
The Miami Dolphins defense played an all-around good game. They found ways to get extra possessions by forcing turnovers. Xavien Howard got the Dolphins going in that department as he jumped a Mac Jones pass and took it back 37 yards for a pick-six. This gave Miami a quick 14-0 lead with a little more than six minutes to go in the first. Miami also forced two fumbles in this game. Mac Jones and Jakobi Meyers both fumbled for the. New England ended up losing both fumbles. Sam Eguavoen and Jaelan Phillips recovered the two fumbles in this game. Forcing these turnovers was one of the keys to this Dolphins’ victory.
Miami also managed to get a couple of sacks in this game which was tough for them to do last week. Christian Wilkins and Andrew Van Ginkel each had one. Wilkins is having a fantastic season as he has been a force for this Dolphins defense. He recorded 49 solo tackles on the season and four and a half sacks. As for tackles, Brandon Jones led in that category. He had eight total tackles. Jones has made a statement this year as he went from barely getting any playing time at the beginning of the season to getting a lot of snaps at the end of the season. He recorded 79 total tackles and five sacks during the 2021 regular season.
The Dolphins got it done on the ground
The Miami offense really won this game with their rushing attack, which they have struggled with all year. Duke Johnson has gotten a lot of snaps the past few games since his 107-yard outing against the Jets. Johnson showed what he can do again this week against the Patriots. He had 117 yards and one touchdown on the afternoon. He was the workhorse all afternoon for the Dolphins as the Patriots had a hard time stopping him. His longest rush was 27 yards and he averaged about five yards a carry. He is a big reason why the Dolphins had success in this game.
Phillip Lindsay also got a fair number of carries. He had 11 carries for 40 yards. As for Myles Gaskin, his carries have really gone down the past few weeks. He only had one this week for negative yardage. He struggled to give the Dolphins a boost running the ball as a starter for most of the season. Overall, this was a great win for the Dolphins, and it gives them momentum heading into the offseason. They finished the season with a 9-8 record, as they just barely missed the playoffs. This concludes this Miami Dolphins Week 18 game recap.