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Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Rams: 5 things we learned


November 20, 2016

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The Miami Dolphins are having a season to be remembered. Not one that shows they’re the cream of the crop, but one that is giving fans hope. Everyone might be getting ahead of themselves believing they’re contenders, but for now, they have a bright future. The team is finally showing they can all get on the same page. What can Miami take away from this game?

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Miami is still bad:
You don’t lose two pro bowl caliber lineman and have the same success. Especially when Laremy Tunsil, a potential pro bowler himself, goes down with an injury. The Dolphins looked like last years debacle plenty of times this game. A bad snap for a safety and fans would be looking for Joe Philbin on the sideline.

However, as bad as Miami was the weather played a factor. Twice quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a ball sail just out of reach of Devante Parker. Would they have been a bit more on the money if not for a slick football? How bad will he perform against the Jets and Bills battling the northeast cold?

The shining 4th:

Miami has won 4 straight games when trailing in the 4th(ESPN). Four consecutive times they’ve come back and won. The last team to pull off such a feat was the 2011 Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow was the quarterback under center. Tim Tebow lead them to a playoff victory. The obvious connection between the two is Adam Gase.

While the team is not without mistakes, Gase has the team in a winning mindset. At no point does this team show signs of quit. They may show signs of struggling but never quit. That’s the difference between winning and losing football games.

Devante Parker might not be a bust:

After Devante Parker missed game after game with injuries fans began to sour on his status with the team. He showed flashes of being great only to get hurt again. Now Parker says he’s close to being 100% and it’s starting to show. Now that the young route runner is getting into a rhythm, he and Ryan Tannehill are finally developing some chemistry.

Not only did he lead the team in receptions and yards, but his 4th quarter touchdown also gave the Dolphins the go-ahead lead. With Parker slowly developing as a threat, it’ll be interesting to see how teams defend moving forward. Devante Parker is a playmaker, Still has become a deep threat, and Jarvis Landry is a game changer. If the Dolphins ever get 100% healthy, they may develop into a team to be feared.

Defense wins championships:

If there was one NFL cliche that couldn’t be truer, it’s defense wins championships. Plenty of times Miami’s struggling offense came up short only to be bailed out by good defense. The Dolphins have had a bend but don’t break philosophy for some time now, but this defense looked good.

Todd Gurley might not be the running back he was last year, but Miami held the Rams to under 100 total rushing yards. For a defense that started near the bottom in yards allowed, the new, winning, Miami Dolphins have quickly made a name for themselves. In their five-game span, they’ve held Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Matt Forte, and Le’Veon Bell to under 100 yards. A defense that struggled to contain backup quarterbacks is stopping some of the league’s best.

Jarvis Landry is fading:

Jarvis Landry is still a key contributor in the Miami offense. The difference between this year and the previous ones is he doesn’t have to be their only playmaker. In no way, shape, or form has Landry’s skills diminished just others have emerged. Tannehill no longer has to force the ball into Landry just to keep drives going.

As shown by his unwillingness to go down on Miami’s first score the Dolphins leading receiver is still a factor. There might not be anyone out there who wants to win more than Jarvis Landry. Now that the Dolphins have developed talent to help take the pressure off him, he might get his wish.

With a win on Sunday, only eight teams in the NFL have a better record than Miami. Three more are tied. The Dolphins had an outside chance at a playoff spot when they got back to 4-4. Now two weeks later they’re only a game out of the wildcard spot. It’ll be no easy road as the Dolphins still have three divisional games to close out the season.

They’ll also face three tough defenses before then. If the Dolphins want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they’ll need their key players to get healthy and fast. There won’t be many games where they can struggle like they did against the Rams and still come away with a win.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com