Dolphins’ Week 9 report card: Grading every position in loss vs. Chiefs

The Miami Dolphins lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, 21-14.

Mike McDaniel’s team was able to come back from a 21-point deficit at halftime.

The finally healthy defense shined, shutting out the Chiefs’ offense in the second half, but ultimately, the Dolphins were unable to erase the deficit.

Now they’re 6-3 heading into their bye week. 

As we do each week, we took time to grade every position group from the Dolphins’ loss, from quarterback to special teams.

Quarterback: B-

(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was solid for the majority of the day, but when it mattered most, he wasn’t able to get the Dolphins a must-have score on the final drives of the game. 

He completed 21 of 34 passes for 193 yards and an impressive touchdown throw to Cedrick Wilson Jr.

The quarterback also had a few dropped balls from his wide receivers that would’ve made his day look much better.

Running Backs: B+

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the running game started slow for the Dolphins, Raheem Mostert had several crucial runs in the second half to keep the Dolphins in the game.

He finished the game with 12 rushes for 85 yards (7.1 yards per carry), and he also had a touchdown rush to bring the Dolphins to 14 points.

Jeff Wilson Jr. and Salvon Ahmed didn’t make a significant impact on the game.

Wide Receivers: B

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreek Hill had a difficult day. He managed to record eight catches for 62 yards, but he also had a costly fumble with under a minute left in the first half, and the Chiefs returned it for a touchdown to make the score 21-0. 

Jaylen Waddle got hurt on the first drive of the day, but he fought through injury to finish with three catches for 42 yards and a 12-yard rush.

Cedrick Wilson Jr. had a 31-yard touchdown reception for the Dolphins’ first score.

Chase Claypool had a crucial fumble recovery when Mostert lost the ball.

Tight Ends: B

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Durham Smythe fought through injury and blocked well, as he finished with three catches for 17 yards.

Offensive Line: B-

(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The offensive line was able to help the run game be successful but had difficulty in the passing game, as the group gave up three sacks for a total loss of 18 yards.

Butch Barry’s unit had difficulty picking up pressure from blitzes, specifically from the edge while the whole offense struggled with holdings and pre-snap penalties.

Terron Armstead and Connor Williams finally returned to the starting lineup. Unfortunately, Robert Jones had a brutal injury, and he could miss some time.

Defensive Line: A-

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive line did a good job limiting the run, as they held the Chiefs to 3.9 yards per carry. They did this especially well in the second half when the Chiefs were trying to burn the clock. 

Zach Sieler had a big day with seven tackles, two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.

Christian Wilkins had a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. 

Linebackers: A

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The linebackers had a great day.

Bradley Chubb led the way with a massive strip-sack in Chiefs territory. He also had a key pass defensed.

Jaelan Phillips had five tackles and a sack, and David Long Jr. led the team with eight tackles. 

The linebackers were dropping back in coverage more than usual, which forced a lot of players to play in spots they weren’t used to. Despite that challenge, the group constantly made plays and helped keep the Chiefs’ offense in check.

Cornerbacks: A

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerbacks earned an “A” grade because they held Patrick Mahomes to under 200 yards passing, a season-low for the star quarterback.

For the first time this season, Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard started the game together. 

At times, Ramsey was assigned to guard tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ top weapon. Ramsey helped keep Kelce to only three catches for 14 yards receiving. 

Howard and Kader Kohou both recorded a pass defensed while Ramsey and Kohou each had four total tackles in the game.

Safeties: A-

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The main responsibility of the safety group against Mahomes is to limit big plays, and the Dolphins safeties were great at keeping everything in front of them.

Kansas City’s longest pass completed was for 25 yards, which is something the defense can be proud of when playing against Mahomes. 

The defense as a whole played their best game of the season, only giving up 14 points and keeping the Chiefs from scoring a point in the second half.

Jevon Holland was tied for the team lead in tackles with eight. 

Special Teams: C+

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Punter Jake Bailey was decent with seven punts for 316 yards (45.1 yards per attempt). His longest punt went 52 yards, and four of his punts landed within the Chiefs’ 20-yard line.

Jason Sanders made both of his extra points.

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Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire