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Hyde10: Hill’s big day, playoff seeding, Baker injury: 10 thoughts on Dolphins’ 45-15 win over Commanders

Hyde10: Hill’s big day, playoff seeding, Baker injury: 10 thoughts on Dolphins’ 45-15 win over Commanders

Nine and three.


The Dolphins did as expected with a fun dismantling of Washington, 45-15, to move ahead of Buffalo by three games in the AFC East. This one ended early, as the Dolphins took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.

1. Game Player: Tyreek Hill. Again. She got behind the Washington defense twice in the first half for touchdown passes of 78 and 60 yards. The first TD came on the Dolphins’ third offensive play of the game on a third-and-2 play. Were you (like me) saying the Dolphins needed to improve their short-yardage game? Coach Mike McDaniel had an answer: run into an empty backfield and have quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throw deep to Hill. Good plan. He had four receptions for 152 yards in the half and added another for 5 yards early in the second half before taking the rest of the day off.

Hill, as I said before, is the league MVP this year. It’s not just that he leads the league with 12 receiving touchdowns. He now has five games with over 150 receiving yards. He now has 1,499 receiving yards with five games remaining, meaning his stated goal of 2,000 yards looks in good shape if he stays healthy.

2. The Dolphins took the number one spot. in the AFC on Sunday, although it will probably only be for a few hours. If Kansas City beats Green Bay on Sunday night and Jacksonville beats Cincinnati on Monday night, the Dolphins would move back into third place. Even with a similar 9-3 record, the Dolphins would lose the first head-to-head game tiebreaker to Kansas City and the third strength of opponents tiebreaker to Jacksonville. The Dolphins moved ahead of Baltimore, which had a bye on Sunday. That playoff seeding could be decided in the Jan. 1 game in Baltimore.

3. How do you replace Jalean Phillips? Andrew Van Ginkel had a pick-6 and a half sack in the first quarter. Emmanuel Ogbah had a sack early in the second quarter. So while Phillips had become a force in the last month before his Achilles injury, the Dolphins’ offensive position is rare for an NFL team. Van Ginkel has become an impactful playmaker this year in Vic Fangio’s defense and had five sacks (four solo) on Sunday. Said that…

4. Linebacker Jerome Baker He suffered a knee injury in the second quarter that was serious enough for several teammates and McDaniel to support him while he was on the field. So for the second week in a row, the Dolphins appear to have lost a starter for the season. First, Phillips. Now, they lost the important role in today’s game of a quick linebacker to help in coverage and who could play every down. Baker has also been a lineup guy, as he has missed just one game in his six seasons. Without him, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio used Duke Riley in one role Sunday and immediately deflected a pass.



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