The Miami Dolphins defense had a dominant game against the New Orleans Saints Monday night. The game plan was simple from the jump: make rookie quarterback Ian Book uncomfortable, and they did just that. Book was the Saints starter, as Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian were placed on the COVID-19 list earlier in the week. In what was his first career start, the Dolphins made his life miserable. He finished 12 for 20 for 135 yards and two interceptions, where one went for six the other way. He looked lost as Miami did their thing blitzing and sending guys from everywhere.
— Andy Morgan (@AndyMorganTV) December 28, 2021
Miami Dolphins Defense, Jaylen Waddle Dominate in Seventh Straight Win
Dolphins Defense Dominates
The early pick-six was a sign of things to come. The Saints only had 164 total yards on offense and were 0 for 12 on third downs. They racked up eight sacks from six different players as they blitzed from everywhere all night long. During their seven-game win streak, Miami has 33 sacks. They have 45 on the season which leads the league and are allowing only 12 points per game during their streak.
Miami Dolphins Defense is best in show in a lot of pass rush categories:
1st in sacks (45)
1st in QB knockdown % (12.7)
1st in QB hits (124)
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) December 28, 2021
Their defense has found their identity with the cover zero blitzes. Ever since the Thursday night game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week ten, Miami has found a way to stop teams. No other team lines up the cover zero more than Miami, and it seems to be their way of winning these last seven weeks. They have the cornerbacks they need in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to cover in man to man, which sets up the blitzes. Miami is hoping they can continue their success with the cover zero heading into these last two weeks.
DEFENSE COMES UP BIG! @BlessedJones33 with the INT! 🙌
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 28, 2021
Credit to the Play of Jaylen Waddle
While the defense was the difference-maker, rookie Jaylen Waddle continues to show why he was the sixth overall pick. He finished with 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. He now has 96 catches on the season, which is a Dolphins franchise rookie record, and 941 receiving yards which is also a franchise record. Waddle only needs six more receptions to break the record for most receptions by a rookie, set by Anquan Boldin in 2003. The Dolphins used him in a number of different ways, as he continues to improve each week.
Jaylen Waddle hit his waddle celebration after scoring 🤣
— ESPN (@espn) December 28, 2021
Dolphins Win and They’re In
For a team that started out 1-7, they now control their own destiny into the playoffs. With the win on Monday, they are now the first team in NFL history to have a seven-game losing streak and a seven-game win streak in the same year. All the Dolphins have to do is win their next two games and they are in. Though it may sound easy, those games are against the Tennessee Titans, and their rival the New England Patriots.
The Dolphins are currently the seventh seed in the AFC and would face the Titans in the wild card round if the season ended today. Head coach Brian Flores deserves a ton of credit, as he has shown that he belongs to be a head coach in this league. The Dolphins will travel to Tennessee to face the Titans Sunday at 1:00. If the Dolphins lose, their season is essentially done.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images