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Dolphins 2021 Week 11 Report Card

Breaking down how each position group performed for the Miami Dolphins during the 24-17 victory against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium

The Miami Dolphins made it three victories in a row when they defeated the New York Jets, 24-17, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Here's the weekly breakdown on how each position group performed:

Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa was back in the starting lineup after missing two starts with his finger injury and he was as efficient as ever against the Jets. The stats were very good, with Tua completing 27 of 33 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, good for a 108.7 passer rating. The highlight was the 65-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins, which was the longest completion of Tua's career, but it wasn't his best throw. That distinction belonged to his third-and-7 completion to Jaylen Waddle on the next-to-last play of the third quarter. As usual, Tua threw mostly short passes, but he was very accurate with those. The one blip on his day was the interception on an errant pass downfield because we're not going to hold his failed quarterback sneak against him. Grade: B+

Running backs

Myles Gaskin was pretty much the guy here, except we need to acknowledge Patrick Laird's great effort on the third-down swing pass on the opening drive because his ability to break tackles got the first down and led to Waddle's touchdown from the Wildcat formation. While his numbers weren't eye-popping, Gaskin had some good moments, most notably a 20-yard run in the third quarter and the game-winning 5-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth. Duke Johnson had four carries for 18 yards after being elevated from the practice squad. Grade: B-

Wide receivers

As usual, it was Waddle leading the way here, as he had team highs in targets (9) and receptions (8) to go along with his touchdown run. Hollins had the long touchdown reception when he took advantage of a busted coverage and got behind the Jets secondary. Wilson threw an incompletion on his option pass near the end zone in the fourth quarter, but he had a very tight window and almost was able to hook up with Preston Williams, who was held without a catch. There were no clear drops by the wide receivers in this game. Grade: B-

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Tight ends

Man, there's a lot to unpack here, starting with three penalties for offensive pass interference, two on Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. After watching a replay of the game, we'll just say one of the calls against Gesicki was weak at best and the one against Smythe was so bad the official must have gotten the number wrong (even though nobody else on the play did anything remotely meriting a flag). Gesicki and Smythe combined for nine catches for 87 yards, including a long of 26 for Gesicki and a long of 18 for Smythe. As with the wide receivers, there were no clear drops here. The penalties normally would bring the grade down, but considering how dubious the calls were, we can't do that.  Grade: B

Offensive line

A personal wish here would be for the offensive line to get the same amount of attention after a good game as it does when things go awry, though that just doesn't happen. Let's say it here then: The offensive line had a very solid performance against the Jets. The run blocking was spotty, sure, but Tua wasn't sacked and generally had good protection, though that obviously was helped by the fact there were so many short passes. But take the Waddle completion at the end of the third quarter, for example, and you'll see the offensive line picking up a Jets blitz and giving Tua a clean pocket to make the throw. And on the sack the Jets should have had — a bad defensive holding penalty nullified it — Tua had plenty of time but held the ball too long. Austin Jackson had the only penalty on the offensive line when he committed a false start in the second half. Grade: B

Defensive line

The Dolphins didn't have a dominant defensive performance the way they did against the Baltimore Ravens in the Thursday night game, though they had their moments. Christian Wilkins had the big play up front when he recovered the Joe Flacco fumble in mid-air, though he fumbled himself and was bailed out by rookie safety Jevon Holland. Emmanuel Ogbah had two quarterback hits and yet another pass tipped at the line of scrimmage. Zach Sieler again made his presence felt in limited action. Grade: C+

Linebackers

Rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips came up with one of the biggest plays on defense with his third-down sack of Flacco on the Jets' first drive of the fourth quarter, which came between the Dolphins' touchdown and field goal that gave them a 24-14 lead. It made up for his bad play earlier in the half when he took a roughness penalty for foolishly shoving Ryan Griffin way out of bounds at the end of completion. The other linebackers were fairly quiet in this game, though Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel each forced an incompletion with pressure on Flacco. Phillips and Jerome Baker both were neutralized on the 39-yard run by Michael Carter in the first quarter, though that was the Jets' only big run in the game. Grade: C+

Secondary

Flacco ended up passing for 291 yards, so it's not like the secondary played a flawless game. The Dolphins had their issues with rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore, who had the 62-yard touchdown along with a 23-yard reception near the sideline on a play where Xavien Howard was flagged for a bogus DPI. On the flip side, Brandon Jones came up with the biggest play of the game on defense with his blindside sack/strip of Flacco on a second-and-goal from the 5 in the second quarter. Holland had his most quiet game in a few weeks, other than his being there to grab the loose after Wilkins' fumble off the Brandon Jones sack. Byron Jones, who was beat on a deep slant on Moore's touchdown, got away with what appeared to be a clear DPI in the second half when he grabbed the wide receiver's jersey. Grade: C+

Special teams

The big story on special teams was the struggles of both kickers, the Jets' Matt Ammendola and the Dolphins' Jason Sanders, who missed a 32-yard attempt at the end of the first half. Michael Palardy had a pretty solid game as he averaged 47.8 yards with a net of 40.8 and one punt inside the 20, though the Dolphins did allow a 19-yard punt return by Braxton Berrios. The Dolphins didn't have any long returns on punts or kickoffs, though Albert Wilson did recover the onside kick in the final minute to clinch the victory. Grade: C