Another week, another survival for the Miami Dolphins, this time against the New England Patriots. Here are some instant takeaways from the Dolphins’ 24-17 victory over their division foes.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots Instant Observations
The Skinny on Bradley Chubb
Does Bradley Chubb read PFN? No way. Well … probably not.
But if he does, he couldn’t have missed our call-out column on Saturday, when we pointed out that Chubb has been mired in one of the worst stretches of his career since joining the Dolphins last fall via trade.
Well, consider the slump busted.
Chubb — playing an even more important role with Jaelan Phillips (back) inactive — was a beast Sunday. He was regularly in the backfield, forced a fumble, and recorded two tackles for loss.
Chubb also had a sack on the Patriots’ final drive of regulation.
Bradley Chubb forces the fumble! pic.twitter.com/1dcAf3J9lt
— Dolphin Nation (@Dolphin_Nation) September 18, 2023
Let’s not sleep on Andrew Van Ginkel, either. Phillips’ fill-in on the edge had a couple of quarterback hits and a crucial sack on the series after a bad Tagovailoa interception.
Dolphins Own End-of-Halves
The Dolphins have had the ball inside the two-minute warning three times. They’ve scored 16 points in those three possessions.
That includes the eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive against the Patriots Sunday night, capped by a two-yard scoring pass from Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill.
Tagovailoa, on that impactful final possession of the second quarter, went 7 of 7 for 69 yards and the touchdown.
Tua to Tyreek Hill is automatic 🔥
— PFF (@PFF) September 18, 2023
Special Teams Get Schooled
With the Dolphins in complete control late in the third quarter, the Patriots needed something — anything — to get them going.
Enter second-year defensive back Brenden Schooler, who had one of the most entertaining field goal blocks in recent memory.
Schooler motioned to the sidelines — and completely out of the screen — as Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders lined it up. Schooler then turned back to the play, ran full speed to the formation, and timed the snap perfectly so that he got to Sanders before the ball did.
Can confirm, it just got LOUD inside Gillette Stadium 👀 pic.twitter.com/QkEl1h0Z6P
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 18, 2023
We’ve Seen This Once or Twice Before
Xavien Howard has covered DeVante Parker on literally thousands of routes over the years.
The showdown late in the third quarter Sunday went like how most of the practice reps did between former teammates-turned-division rivals:
Howard getting the best of Parker.
Howard not only sealed the Dolphins’ former first-round pick to make a plan on Mac Jones’ poor fade attempt, but he nimbly got two feet down inbounds.
For Howard, it was the 29th interception of his decorated career.
MAC JONES INT
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 18, 2023
Raheem Mostert, RB1
Jeff Wilson? Hurt.
Salvon Ahmed? Hurt.
Raheem Mostert? The one doing the hurting.
The Dolphins’ featured back of the moment is proving age is just a number. The 31-year-old was still faster than any Patriots defender Sunday night.
His barely touched 43-yard touchdown run gave the Dolphins the breathing room they needed midway through the fourth quarter.
— Sportskeeda Pro Football (@SKProFootball) September 18, 2023
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