Who’s hot, who’s not after the Dolphins’ thrilling win over the Bills
The Dolphins are 3-0 for the first since 2018 after a down-to-wire, 21-19 win over the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
Here’s a look at who’s hot — and who’s not — after the victory.
▪ River Cracraft: The veteran wide receiver has been elevated from the practice squad each week to start the season, and though he’s had a limited role on offense, he has delivered. Last week, Cracraft caught the touchdown pass that jump-started the Dolphins’ avalanche of 28 fourth-quarter points in a comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday, Cracraft’s 11-yard touchdown catch tied the score at 14 in the second quarter.
In two games, Cracraft’s only catches are his touchdown scores but he’s emerged as a reliable secondary target behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, particularly in the red zone. Since the Dolphins used their third and final elevation on Cracraft, they must sign him to the 53-man roster or risk exposing him to waivers after another elevation. His play merits a spot on the active roster.
▪ Melvin Ingram: The veteran outside linebacker was signed this offseason to what many thought would be a rotational role on a talented and deep defensive front. However, Ingram has been a key starter for the defense through three games. He’s been a stout run defender and one of the team’s better pass rushers. Against the Bills, Ingram recorded two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. And after missing out on a third sack on the final play of the game, Ingram chased down and tackled receiver Isaiah McKenzie to keep him in bounds. Buffalo was unable to spike the ball with any time remaining, clinching the Dolphins’ win.
▪ Tyreek Hill: The speedy pass-catcher didn’t have a bad game, but it was a quiet afternoon for Hill after he exploded in the fourth quarter of the Week 2 win over the Ravens. Hill finished with two catches on 33 yards on just four targets. The Dolphins’ lack of time of possession played a role in that, and quarterback Tua Tagoailoa said Buffalo played different coverages with their entire starting secondary out of the lineup. It won’t be long until Hill has another chance to leave his mark on the field, though, as the Dolphins travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on “Thursday Night Football.”
▪ Special teams: The Dolphins were looking to have another solid outing on special teams. Cornerback Justin Bethel made a great play to keep a Thomas Morstead punt out of the end zone and pinned deep in Bills territory. And then Bethel may have impacted a missed field goal by kicker Justin Bass. However, the lasting image of the Dolphins’ special teams unit was a blooper moment in which Morstead, backed near his own end zone, tried to punt the ball but sent it into the back of wide receiver Trent Sherfield, resulting in a safety. To Morstead’s credit, his free kick was a rocket and made sure the Bills didn’t have optimal field position needing just a field goal to win. However, it’s the second consecutive week with a special teams gaffe after the Dolphins allowed a kickoff return touchdown against the Ravens.