Efficient offensive performances please the eye. They bring excitement to NFL Sundays. High point totals keep fans engaged. Stout defensive performances win games. The Miami Dolphins are enjoying the fruits of their labor this season. Impressive performances helped Mike McDaniel's unit join the NFL's elite in Power Rankings. It's still early in the season. Mid-season accolades do not secure a playoff berth.
There are ten weeks left in the NFL season. How will Jalen Ramsey's health impact the Dolphins playoff implications?
NFL: Miami Dolphins offense is hard for defenses to stop
A 70-20 win against the Denver Broncos gave Mike McDaniel's unit the spotlight. The Dolphins were favorites heading into Week 3. Nobody expected an offensive explosion. Frank Smith's group scored ten touchdowns. Tua Tagovailoa led the charge. It was an important day for the former first-round pick. In 2021, Miami's quarterback experienced multiple concussions. It's been an electrifying return. Tagovailoa threw four touchdown passes. It was his season-high. He ranks first in pass ratings (88.7) and touchdowns (14).
Elite wide receivers are magicians in the open field. They create space against lingering defenders. It helps offenses add points to the scoreboard. Tyreek Hill a mastered this skill. He ranks first in yards after catch (329) and third in missed tackles forced after a reception (9). Hill's presence makes Tagovailoa's job easier. It's resulted in more wins. The "Cheetah" ranks eighth in targets (56) this season. Frank Smith will continue to rely on him throughout the campaign.
We learned a lot about the Dolphins during their Week 4 onslaught. They showed different dimensions of their offense. De'Von Achane and Raheem Mostert were in a track meet against Denver's defenders. It was the first of multiple early dominant outings. Achane was placed on injured reserve after experiencing a knee injury against the New York Giants. Mostert ranks seventh in rushing yards (430). He'll manage the backfield until his teammate returns.
NFL: Miami Dolphins are excited to have Jalen Ramsey back with team
Impressive offensive performances keep the Dolphins out of dangerous waters. They've defeated second-tier opponents leading up to Week 7. The Dolphins scored over 30 points in eighty percent of their games. Wins against the Panthers, Patriots, and Chargers were noteworthy but do not hold weight. Matchups against the Eagles, Chiefs, and Bills require defense. Hopefully, Vic Fangio's group prepares well.
Defensive wins championships. If opponents cannot score, they cannot win. These mantras are true. The Dolphins are 5-1 for multiple reasons. Stout defensive performances are not one of them. Vic Fangio's unit is doing enough to maintain order. Christian Wilkins continues to impress. His presence intimidates opposing quarterbacks. The former first-round pick ranks 10th in pass rush grading (82.9) and ties fourth in sacks (4) among interior defensive linemen. Fangio's unit will need more than a high-motored rusher to take on their next opponents.
Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are next on the Dolphins schedule. They are hungry for a post-season appearance. Anything less is considered a failure. Jalen Ramsey's presence will help Miami's secondary against the league's elite. He's an X-Factor cornerback who specializes in making big plays. In 2022, Ramsey ranked fourth in defensive grading (86.4) and tied third in interceptions (4). A torn meniscus forced the Dolphins to lace the All-Pro on injured reserve. He's returned to practice Wednesday but will miss time due to roster restrictions. He's eligible to be activated in 21 days.
Mike McDaniel's team must work hard to benefit from their successful start to the season. His defense will be tested, but Jalen Ramsey's assistance is enough to succeed. A rigorous upcoming schedule should tell us what we need to know about the Miami Dolphins. Are they a threat? Will we see them in the post-season?
All statistics courtesy of pff.com.