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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Lessons Learned in the Dolphins Win on Sunday

Sunday proved to be a huge day for the Miami Dolphins on many levels.

  • A 14-0 deficit before the team won 37-35.
  • A safety in the closing minute led to the victory.
  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for four touchdowns and 2395 yards passing.
  • The running game was a key in moving the ball.

But the biggest news of the day came after the game when team owner Stephen Ross announced that despite being under the gun for the season and news of a potential end his coaching career in Miami, Joe Philbin will be back in south Florida next year.

The Dolphins win was tempered with happiness and elation and the team did miss out on the playoffs again. But the progress the team has made on offense, joined with the defensive effort all season helped make the decision to bring back Philbin. Now, Miami can finish the season no worse than 8-8, which was the same team record in 2014.

According to Andy Kent’s story for the Associated Press, Philbin insisted Monday that he was so consumed with preparing his team for the 37-35 win over the Minnesota Vikings and the upcoming showdown with the Jets that hearing the news "wasn't a big deal."

He refused to address the futures of defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor or anyone else on the staff, maintaining that he is in full coaching mode and nothing else.

"I'm just concerned about playing the New York Jets and winning this football game, period," said Philbin, who carries a 23-24 record into the last game. "There is a time and place to talk about the staff and those types of things."

When pressed on how he reacted, Philbin joked that when he got home last night he had one Guinness. He also got to share the news with his family, including some of his children visiting for the holidays.

Jets week typically brings with it plenty of drama and that was the case last season. Miami lost at home in the final week and was eliminated from playoff contention, while Jets coach Rex Ryan got a vote of confidence from owner Woody Johnson and kept his job.

The work the offense has put in to help Tannehill take another step in his maturation this season is a big reason that the Dolphins look better than last season, despite the same record as it was after Week 16 last season. Tannehill is the first quarterback to throw four touchdowns in a game for the team since Dan Marino.

The work of the receiving corps, which included Mike Wallace and Jarvis Landry, aided the passing game on Sunday.


Dion Jordan has shown he can be a disruptive force on the defensive line since returning to the team from suspension. Sunday was no different.

According to writer, Alain Poupart, In addition to turning in a dominating performance on special teams, Jordan also lined up at defensive end, dropped in coverage as a linebacker and even played some snaps at defensive tackle after both Jared Odrick and Derrick Shelby sustained injuries.

“He played a little bit of everything yesterday,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “He played linebacker, he played defensive end and at a couple of points we had to move him inside. I thought he played well yesterday. I think he impacted the game yesterday both for us on defense some and then also on special teams.”

Jordan ended up with three special teams tackles and his presence near the line of scrimmage might have played a part in the bad snap that resulted in Terrence Fede’s game-winning punt block for a safety.

On defense, Jordan played 22 snaps, made two tackles and recorded his first career sack.


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