By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
The Miami Dolphins have taken over the top spot in the AFC East. Yes, it’s only game 3 but honestly, most of the national media had written this Dolphins team off as one of the worst in the league.
Well, that worst team in the NFL has found themselves alone at the top of their division.
Offensively, during the first quarter, quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled to find any rhythm. “Sometimes it’s not gonna be pretty but we all hung in there together and we found a way to get it done,” Tannehill said. I said this the whole offseason once the Dolphins signed Albert Wilson (my former hometown kid).
This is the guy head coach Adam Gase was searching for. Wilson brings a whole new skill set. He is fast and very versatile. He is a Gase guy. Coach said that Wilson, along with another explosive player, Jakeen Grant, have a whole set of plays designed just for these two players’ skill sets.
Wilson’s play of the game came midway in the 4th quarter. He took a pitch from Dolphins running back Frank Gore and then threw a 52-yard strike to a wide open Jakeen Grant for a quick score. Wilson also caught the game-sealing touchdown pass that saw Grant run alongside him for a high five as he crossed the plane of the end zone.
Defensively, yesterday the Miami Dolphins overcame a slow start. A first half marred by injuries, penalties, and ejections. Dolphins defensive tackle Akeem Spence set that tone earlier, being ejected in the 2nd quarter for unnecessary roughness that left him holding an Oakland Raiders helmet.
The hole of not playing with Dolphins’ All-Pro safety Reshard Jones showed up early. Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught two passes during the Raiders opening drive that led to 7 points on Oakland’s first drive. The Dolphins defense finally settled in with a standout performance by defensive back Xavien Howard – known as X in the Dolphins locker room.
Howard’s first pick was a pretty easy one. Oakland QB Derek Carr launched a long ball in the air for Amari Cooper that sailed. Howard just ran under it. The second one, however, sealed the deal. Late in the 4th, trailing by 4 points, Carr tried to hit WR Martavis Bryant in the corner of the end zone. Howard all but had Bryant blanketed making sure the ball fell into his own arms.
Next up, Sunday, the Dolphins take their 3-0 start to Foxborough to face AFC East rivals New England Patriots.
Talk Dolphins football with Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303