MINNEAPOLIS (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins wrapped up the 2017 preseason Thursday night with a convincing 30-9 win over the host Minnesota Vikings.
It was a great opportunity for some bubble players to possibly earn a spot on the Dolphins final roster and for non-starters to show that they deserve more playing time when the season arrives.
There were a lot of positives out there for head coach Adam Gase and his staff to evaluate over the next couple of days. Teams must cut their rosters from 90 down to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m.
“We’ll figure it out,” Gase said. “On the flight home we’ll be able to watch the entire tape so we’ll be able to figure everything out and kind of see how it shakes out. We had some decisions made moving into tonight so we’ll see how they played.”
Second year receiver Jakeem Grant was the star for Miami, hauling in four catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
His standout night began on the Dolphins opening drive with a 26-yard catch along the sideline.
During the second quarter he caught a 65 yard bomb from David Fales for his touchdown, once again using his speed to pull away from defenders after catching the ball.
“I was just trying to go out there and make a play,” Grant said. “I wanted to show everybody that I am a receiver before a returner. I was just making plays and doing whatever I can to have the coaches trust me. I feel like that is another step that I took tonight.”
Grant also drew two defensive penalties. He has looked much better since moving from the slot to the outside.
“It was a great job,” Gase said of Grant. “He’s had a lot of one-on-one matchups. He’s figuring out a way to win and we’re hooking up pretty good.”
Running back Kenyan Drake also had a solid night for Miami. He ran the ball with authority and is clearly playing with more confidence.
Drake played a bit more than expected but following a fumble on the Dolphins third possession his night quickly came to a close.
“We’ve got a couple thing to clean up with him; but we know he’s a playmaker,” Gase said. “We’ve just got to make sure that we’re doing good as far as our assignments.”
Drake finished with eight carries for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Miami’s coaching staff has got to feel good about how deep the team’s secondary is.
Undrafted rookie Torry McTyer continued to make plays, breaking up a pair of passes during his playing time.
Third round pick Condrea Tankersley has looked better every week and Thursday was no exception.
The cover skills and instincts around the ball Tankersley has shown are unique for a rookie. Miami may really have found a gem in the former Clemson stantout.
After a lackluster few preseason games the Dolphins offense finally broke out.
Quarterback David Fales led the way, continuing his solid preseason.
He completed 12 of his 20 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns. Fales has played solid during the preseason and may have earned a spot with the Dolphins, but the situation is complicated.
He is not eligible for the practice squad so Miami would lose Fales if he isn’t placed on the 53-man roster.
“I mean this is my fourth time [going through roster cuts] so, I’m just like, just tell me. I want to know,” Fales said. “I am cool with Coach Adam Gase and Quarterback Coach Bo Hardegree. It is stressful though.”
- Tight end MarQueis Gray tied for the team lead with four catches for 19 yards and a touchdown. He’ll be an extremely solid option behind Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano.
- For the second straight game, rookie linebacker Chase Allen led Miami in tackles. He may have done enough to earn a roster spot.
- Rookie defensive end Praise Martin-Ogulke made a big play during the second quarter, sacking Vikings quarterback Taylor Heinicke in the end zone for a safety.
- Miami’s defense picked up a total of five sacks but forced no turnovers.