The Dolphins were able to squeeze out an ugly 13-6 win against the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon, despite only 35 yards of offense in the second half. The defense came up huge against New York to help the Dolphins remain in the hunt, improving to 5-4 on the season.
Here are three huge contributors that pushed the Dolphins to victory:
The game’s MVP was Miami’s third-round draft pick from Ohio State. While the Dolphins have a “offensive guru” at head coach, the defense was the reason for the win. Specifically, Jerome Baker broke off a 25-yard pick six after a poor throw from Sam Darnold.
While Darnold threw four interceptions on the afternoon, none was bigger than the one to Baker. The Dolphins defense was responsible for seven points while the offense could only reach field goal range twice.
Baker has been a pleasant surprise for the Dolphins this season. After a two-sack performance early in the season Baker is starting to flash again. In a player's rookie season we just want to see them flash and Baker has done more than that. The Dolphins defense has had issues but Baker has been a bright spot.
Cameron Wake & Akeem Spence
The left side of the Dolphins offensive line that featured Akeem Spence and Cameron Wake had a massive game for the Dolphins. Wake had one sack on the season while Spence had zero.
The two gave Sam Darnold fits all day as both had two sacks in the game. To put that into perspective, the Dolphins had only 11 sacks this entire season before Sunday’s game. While it may not show up in the stat sheet Wake also pressured Darnold into some poor throws into the second half that resulted in two interceptions.
Darren Rizzi is the kicker whisperer. After letting Cody Parkey walk in the offseason the Dolphins went with rookie Jason Sanders. Early on the season the Dolphins struggled to reach field goal range and the same was true against the Jets.
While Sanders has only attempted 12 field goals on the season he has converted 11 and made most of his opportunities on Sunday. It may have felt like a flashback to the Sparano days for the Dolphins but they needed Sanders and his two makes from 43 and 27 yards. The Dolphins have some huge concerns on offense, but at least they have found another sound kicker.