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Rich Rodriguez, Good Bad Ugly, Miami Dolphins, Phinfever blogThe Good

The defense overcame some good early scheming by the Patriots to take over the game. 271 yards allowed, 78 yards rushing for 3.5 YPC, two forced fumbles, one interception and two sacks. Brandon Jones had 11 tackles, 1 sack and one pass defensed. His sack led to a fumble and a Melvin Ingram touchdown. Another stud on defense and a huge surprise was the undrafted rookie, Kader Kohou. Kohou had one tackle for a loss, one pass defensed on a tight end that is 5 inches taller and 56 pounds heavier.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle came out to do what they were supposed to do. Hill had 8 catches for 94 yards. Waddle had 69 yards, including a 42 yard touchdown on a gutsy playcall.

Speaking of that, Mike McDaniel showed some of the guts missing from previous coaches. McDaniel's playcalling took the Dolphins from 3rd and 19 to 4th and 7 to a 42 yard touchdown catch from Waddle. McDaniel kept the offense aggressive in a day which they struggled mightily. He definitely played to win where previous coaches would have probably paid not to lose.

The Bad

The offensive line played better than last year, but that's not saying much. The Dolphins still only ran for 65 yards on 23 carries. Protection looked better than last year, but there were still too many instances of free rushers getting to Tua. This unit is still definitely a work in progress. Going down to their 3rd right tackle certainly didn't help. The player that stood out to me as playing the poorest was Connor Williams, who generated little push in the run game and missed some assignments in pass blocking. To be fair, the Patriots front 7 is always good and this season will probably be no exception.

The Ugly

We saw some good and bad from Tua. The statline looked good with 270 passing yards and 1 TD on 69% completion. But later in the game, it seemed Tua was feeling the pressure of producing and he appeared to force some throws that could have led to disastrous turnovers. There are definitely some things to clean up but some things to build upon. Let's remember again the front seven he was facing as well as Bellicheck's ability to put together coverages that confuse even the best quarterbacks in the league.

Overall

It's nice to see the defense lead the way early in the season. Early last season, they couldn't stop a high school team. Perhaps the considerable decline was saw last season was due to Brian Flores and the defense improved once he backed off? We can only speculate. One thing we do know is the defense played well despite missing Byron Jones. But it could also be due to what appears to be a mediocre Patriots offense.

We start the season with a win against a division rival. McDaniel is the first coach to win his first game as head coach of the Dolphins since Nick Saban in 2005. Here's hoping he can prove this year that he is the future of the franchise. We all know we've been waiting for this since Shula retired.

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2022 Week 5: Dolphins at Jets; October 9 @ 1 pm EST on CBS

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