For the first time under head coach Mike McDaniel, the Miami Dolphins have completed a preseason campaign, as they downed the Philadelphia Eagles 48-10 at Hard Rock Stadium.
McDaniel’s team opted to play a majority of their starters for a few series, while Nick Sirianni decided to hold his out and play the backups and roster hopefuls.
This may have been a preseason contest, but there are plenty of things that we can take away from this blowout victory at home.
The rushing attack is alive
Heading into the preseason finale, the Dolphins had only rushed for 86 yards on 32 carries – an abysmal 2.7 yards per attempt. A combination of the backs and offensive line stepping up allowed Miami to total 206 yards on 32 attempts in the run game – an extremely impressive 6.4 yards per rush.
These cuts are going to be tough, as a number of the running backs showed up.
Jason Sanders settled back down
After missing a potential game-winning field goal off of the upright against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sanders was asked to kick eight total times on Saturday, including a 55-yard field goal.
The 26-year-old nailed every single attempt with veteran punter Thomas Morstead holding for him.
Preston Williams' fate is likely sealed
Williams has had a rough run this offseason, as he was brought back in a wide receiver room that was more stacked than it had been during his tenure with the Dolphins. He voiced his displeasure with his opportunities, and Miami discussed trading him.
In the preseason finale, Williams was targeted just once in the passing game and muffed a punt that gave the Eagles excellent field position.
He just hasn’t done enough to warrant a spot on this roster.
Tua Tagovailoa had the offense going right away
Miami took the field with Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill on the field together for the first time, and on the very first play from scrimmage, the two hooked up for a 51-yard reception. Three plays later, the Dolphins were in the end zone.
Tagovailoa led the team to three scoring drives while he was in the game, and yes, it was against backups, but there have been some teams that haven’t performed well against depth players.
CB depth was interesting again
Noah Igbinoghene, Kader Kohou and Elijah Campbell were three cornerbacks that had a lot of attention on them entering this game.
Igbinoghene had a pass breakup early, Kohou was pretty much always in his receiver’s pocket and ready to make a tackle while Campbell intercepted old friend Reid Sinnett and returned the pass for a touchdown. That’s Campbell’s second turnover of the preseason.
While Keion Crossen and Nik Needham appear to have the No. 3 and 4 spots, respectively, Miami will have to pick between these three for the final spot or two.
Big men create big problems
Second-year defensive tackle Benito Jones and undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ben Stille have been the two big men in the middle of the defense fighting for a spot.
On Saturday, they both made their presence known, as Stille had four tackles, including a couple of run stuffs and Jones had three tackles himself. Jones also had a huge quarterback hit that was called a penalty, but the play looked pretty clean.
Miami probably only has a spot for one of these two, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see them stick around on the practice squad either.