Instant analysis from Dolphins’ first win of 2022 vs. Patriots

·2 min read

The Miami Dolphins took the field on Sunday for their 2022 season opener against the New England Patriots, and they earned their first victory under head coach Mike McDaniel.

In the first half, the offense wasn’t doing a whole lot to move the ball up and down the field. They benefitted from some great play by the defensive unit, as Jevon Holland came down with an interception on the first drive, leading to a field goal.

Then, on their third defensive drive, safety Brandon Jones hit Mac Jones from the blindside, knocking the ball free, and linebacker Melvin Ingram recovered for a touchdown.

Miami’s offensive focus in the first half was getting the ball in the hands of new wide receiver Tyreek Hill, as he recorded six receptions for 77 yards.

The offensive line also looked to have some issues when right tackle Austin Jackson suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter. Greg Little took his place. Little also exited the game early in the third quarter, forcing Robert Hunt to shift from guard to tackle with Robert Jones taking Hunt’s original spot.

Miami’s offense hit one huge play in the first half, as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for a 42-yard touchdown. Waddle caught the ball over the middle and split the defenders for the score.

In the second half, the Dolphins defense did more of the same, allowing just one touchdown on a swing pass to running back Ty Montgomery with Jaelan Phillips in coverage. Cornerback Kader Kohou forced a fumble from Nelson Agholor in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots were desperately working to move the ball and get some points back.

Miami’s offense didn’t do much in the second half either, as their best drive (eight plays for 50 yards) resulted in a 49-yard field goal from Jason Sanders, his second of the game.

Interestingly enough, tight end Mike Gesicki, who was a key contributor in 2021, was only targeted one time in the whole game. That was less than his pal Durham Smythe and fullback Alec Ingold.

McDaniel’s team may have finished Week 1 with a win, but there’s plenty of work to do before people start taking this as a serious contender for the postseason or division.

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Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire