Here’s a look at who’s hot — and who’s not — after the Week 2 win:
▪ Tua Tagovailoa: The 24-year-old put together the best performance by a Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino, going 36 of 50 for 469 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s the first player to throw for six touchdowns in a game since 2018 and shrugged off a rocky first half to lead a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback. It wasn’t just about the stat line, either: Tagovailoa connected for three deep-ball touchdowns, which are defined by NFL’s Next Gen Stats as touchdown passes traveling at least 20 yards in the air. Tagovailoa had just three such touchdowns in his entire career before this weekend.
▪ Tyreek Hill: This is why Miami (2-0) traded five picks, including its first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, for Hill. The star wide receiver exploded for five catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, to finish with 11 catches for 190 yards and the two touchdowns. The 28-year-old receiver exited the game with cramps in the third quarter, came back with 9:11 remaining and the Dolphins down 35-21, and promptly hauled in two long touchdown passes to tie the game.
▪ Jaylen Waddle: After a relatively quiet Game 1, Waddle was nearly as good as Hill in Game 2, going off for 11 catches, 171 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 14 seconds left. The 23-year-old wideout also had a 59-yard catch in the first half, turning a simple throw in the middle of the field into a massive gain because of his ability to create yards after the catch.
▪ Xavien Howard: The Dolphins’ shutdown corner is typically a reliable defender in the secondary but was beat on wide receiver Rashod Bateman’s 75-yard touchdown in the second quarter. All of Bateman’s production — four catches, 108 yards — came with Howard lined up against him, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.
▪ Pass rush: In last year’s meeting, the Dolphins harassed quarterback Lamar Jackson with their Cover-0 looks as the Ravens struggled to distinguish pass rushers from players dropping into zone coverage. On Sunday, Jackson was calm in the pocket in the face of Miami’s pressure.
The Dolphins blitzed on almost 66 percent of Jackson’s 29 dropbacks, according to Next Gen Stats, but failed to sack him and only pressured him five times. All three of Jackson’s touchdown passes came against the blitz.
The Dolphins’ struggles to get to the quarterback come after a Week 1 performance in which they blitzed on 25 percent of Mac Jones’ dropbacks and sacked him twice with five quarterback pressures. Next up on the schedule are the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen, who hasn’t flinched in the face of the Dolphins’ blitzes in recent matchups.