The Miami Dolphins dropped their second straight game this year after starting it with three straight wins. Today’s loss at the hands of the New York Jets drops Miami down to 3-2 on the season and out of the top spot in both the AFC East division and in the overall AFC standings. Injuries and penalties crushed the Dolphins throughout the day, and now they have to figure out how to fix it before they get back on the field in Week 6.
The Jets were able to take it to the Dolphins, especially once the running game got started in the second half. Miami having to use their third-string quarterback, rookie seventh-round pick Skylar Thompson, after Teddy Bridgwater, starting at quarterback in place of the concussed Tua Tagovailoa, was injured on the first offensive snap of the game for the Dolphins, crushed any hopes for a win in this game. Thompson showed flashes in the preseason, but the preseason and the regular season are extremely different animals, and Thompson looked like a rookie during this game.
Dolphins 17-Jets 40
Stock Up: Raheem Mostert, running back – With a rookie quarterback in the game, Miami had to finally find a rushing attack this year. Mostert stepped up, picking up 113 yards on 18 carries, giving him a 6.3 yards per attempt average. He scored one of Miami’s two touchdowns on the day; he also picked up nine yards on one reception. Mostert seems to be establishing himself as the lead back in Miami this season.
Stock Down: Penalties – The Dolphins struggled with penalties all game long. From illegal formations to pass interference, face masks, and illegal use of hands, the flags seemed to be raining all around the club. With a rookie quarterback, you cannot afford to be making mistakes, and the Dolphins kept making them throughout the game. The Dolphins finished the game with 11 penalties, compared to the Jets’ five accepted flags. The Jets actually gave away more penalty yards (102 for Miami, 105 for the Jets), but the Dolphins kept either giving away a free first down or stalling out their own drives with the penalties.
Stock Up: Tyreek Hill, wide receiver – In a game where the offense lost all its explosiveness, Hill was doing everything he could to get the offense going. Until the fourth quarter, Hill was the only player on the Dolphins’ roster with more than one catch on the day. He finished the game with seven receptions, although he only picked up 47 yards on those catches. He also had two rushes for 13 yards. It wasn’t the All-Pro performance you normally see from Hill, but on a day when the offense struggled to do anything, this was a strong performance.
Stock Down: Injuries – The Dolphins came into the game with several injuries, including a concussion to Tua Tagovailoa and a groin injury to Javier Howard that kept both starters out. Add in Byron Jones still on the physically unable to perform list, and Miami was shorthanded to start the game, then saw more injuries pile up immediately. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, starting in place of Tagovailoa, was knocked out of the game on Miami’s first offensive play with an elbow injury that also landed him in the new concussion protocols from the league and players association. Left tackle Terron Armstead had played through a toe injury throughout much of the season, but had to leave the game with it in the first quarter. Miami cannot afford to see more injuries – and the fact that Hill left the game in the fourth quarter with a foot injury is concerning heading into next week.
Stock Up: Myles Gaskin, running back – This is not a statement that Gaskin was dominating the game or anything, but the fact that Miami’s 2021 starting running back had been inactive the last several weeks, but worked back up to be on the active roster this week, then got in the game, is a sign his stock is up. He rushed four times for nine yards and caught three passes for 24 yards. Gaskin may not have ripped off a highlight run or anything, but him even playing is moving his stock in the right direction.
Stock Down: Skylar Thompson, quarterback – Thompson was thrust into a game with little preparation time as the Dolphins were more focused on getting Bridgewater ready to play this week. He was a seventh-round pick for a reason. This is not to say he played badly, but rather all the fan-love that elevated Thompson into a starting-caliber, future franchise quarterback based on his preseason play should cool some now. A 19-for-33 day throwing for 166 yards with an interception and a 58.4 passer rating is the stat line of a rookie who did not expect to play, which is fine given that is exactly what Thompson is, but it is not the stat line of a player who should be starting over Bridgewater, as some have advocated – and especially not the stat line of a player who should be considered competition for Tua Tagovailoa’s spot.