The Miami Dolphins kicked off the Dan Campbell era with a dominating win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. It was as much-needed a win as you can get in Week 6 of the NFL Season, but Campbell was quick to point out that it’s just one game and the team has a lot of work to do moving forward. Still, it was refreshing to see the Dolphins play the way that many people thought they would heading into the season.
Miami got off to a quick start, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season. In fact, the Dolphins scored 10 points in the first quarter on Sunday, which dwarfed the three combined points they had scored during the first quarter of their first four games. Miami’s defense also showed up for the first time in 2015, recording six quarterback sacks and forcing four turnovers.
The win was exactly what the doctor ordered and is hopefully a sign of things to come. The Dolphins have a good chance of getting back to .500 this week as they face the Houston Texans, but after that Miami faces three straight tough road games against New England, Buffalo and Philadelphia. But before we move on to Week 7, here are the top performers from the Dolphins big win over the Titans.
Miller looked better than ever during training camp and appeared poised to have his best year yet as a pro. Then the season started and he was never given a chance to get rolling, averaging just 9 carries through the first four games, but that changed on Sunday as interim head coach Dan Campbell showed a commitment to the run that hadn’t been seen in Miami all year. Miller rushed the ball 19 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry. He also caught two passes for five yards and overall looked extremely comfortable running the ball. He had two carries for over 20 yards, the first two for the team in 2015.
The bye week was just what the doctor ordered for Wake, who had been battling a hamstring injury since training camp. The time off gave Wake a chance to recover and it certainly showed against the Titans. Wake came into the game with no sacks on the season but by halftime he had increased his total by four, which included two forced fumbles that Miami recovered. Wake also drew two holding penalties and overall just looked like his usual, dominant self that fans have grown accustomed to seeing over the past several years.
One constant this season on these ‘top performer’ lists is the appearance of Reshad Jones. He continued his march to the Pro Bowl on Sunday in Tennessee, recording eight tackles, a pass defended and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. Considering the struggles Miami has had in it’s secondary, it’s safe to say that Jones is the one player that the Dolphins cannot afford to be without on defense.
Dion Sims/Jordan Cameron
After suffering a concussion during Week 1, Sims was finally cleared to return to the Dolphins lineup on Sunday. The ascending tight end picked up where he left off, catching four balls for 33 yards and a touchdown while providing excellent blocking that helped contribute to the Dolphins big day rushing the ball. Cameron also had a solid game despite having a pass deflect off his fingertips that turned into an interception during the first half. He finished with three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown, his first as a member of the Dolphins.
Playing with a banged up knee didn’t keep Grimes from having another solid game. While he had to give receivers more cushion off the line than he’d like, Grimes still tackled well and didn’t let anyone get behind him. He finished with a pair of tackles, four passes defended and a beautiful diving interception while the Titans were threatening in the red zone.
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