It wasn’t pretty, but the Miami Dolphins got their sixth straight win on Sunday against the New York Jets. They now are on their longest winning streak since 2016, and puts them at 7-7 on the year. The offense had a rocky start, and the defense was struggling as well and they were down 10-0 early. But the Dolphins got the Week 15 win after they were able to come back with big defensive stops, and some big runs from a veteran running back.
Miami Dolphins Week 15 Victory Saw Defense Step Up and Balance on Offense
There was an unlikely hero on offense for Miami in their game against the Jets. Veteran running back Duke Johnson was brought up from the practice squad earlier in the week. He finished with 107 rushing yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Johnson, who is a Florida native, also played at the University of Miami, and this week he had one of the best games of his six-year career.
"I think it's my first 100-yard game of my career. I was able to do it in my home state… I'm definitely blessed."
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 19, 2021
He ran the ball with great power and speed, showing he can still be a starting back in this league. He really was the spark the Dolphins needed on offense, with the pass game being inconsistent. Tua Tagovailoa did make a few nice plays, but his two interceptions, including a pick-six, were ones he wishes he had back. The balance with the run game is something Miami has been looking to see more of this season. On Sunday Johnson had the team’s first 100-yard performance since Week 15 of last season. If the Dolphins can have that similar success on the ground more consistently, the playbook will open up a lot more.
But it wasn’t just the run game that dominated the Jets. Miami’s fast, aggressive defense did their thing and made life more challenging for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. The Dolphins did what they do best which is blitz the quarterback and let their corners go one-on-one with the receivers. There were a lot of pre-snap blitzes shown as well, as the Dolphins tried to make Zach Wilson’s life a bit more difficult, and it worked. Miami was also able to get the ball back off a strip-sack early in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins sack Zach Wilson and Ogbah ends up with ball. Sieler with the hit. Beautiful play by the Miami defense. pic.twitter.com/X8cmJcl5hD
— FinCuts (@FinCuts) December 19, 2021
The Dolphins defense has been dominant during this six-game win streak. Miami has allowed a total of only 79 points through those six games, and they have 25 sacks and eight interceptions in that same time frame.
Next Three Games for Miami Are Must Wins
With an additional game in the regular season this year, Miami still has a shot at the playoffs. But their next three games might be their toughest stretch yet. They have to play the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans on the road and then the New England Patriots at home to close out the season. Next week’s Monday night game against the Saints is absolutely massive for both teams. With both teams sitting at 7-7, it will feel like a playoff game in the dome. The Saints defense will be coming off a massive win where they shut out Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0 on Sunday night. Both teams will be feeling hot after big-time wins and will want to keep their playoff hopes alive.