Welcome to your Week 7 Miami Dolphins update courtesy of the Miami Dolphins journalist interns.
After starting off their defense of the AFC East strong this season with two wins, the Dolphins closed out the first quarter of the season with two losses at home against the Cardinals (5-1-0) and Chargers (5-0-0). It wasn't just the losses against those strong teams - it was the fact that Miami looked lost at times on both sides of the ball against both opponent squads. Josh Allen's season is officially a "growing" year with his scatter-shot accuracy dampening the nuclear arsenal hanging from the right side of his torso. That cannon of an appendage has helped the Dolphins receiving core keep pace for top 20 finishes - with top 10 appeal for Kenny Stills as he continues to ramp up receiving touchdowns.
One of the off-seasons biggest changes was the usurping of the rushing job by Kalen Ballage during camp. So far this season he is making the coaching staff look good, and after his last two performances he may even make them look great with a Weekend Football Team ballot appearance. He has shown the ability to move the ball on the ground when needed, averaging well over four yards a tote. But his ability to add an outlet to Josh Allen has resulted in two receiving touchdowns for the young running back. The teams defense has certainly been the glue for this team when Josh Allen wavers and rookie Casey Trusty has wasted no time establishing himself as a starting, and likely award-winning, safety in this league. He leads the team in tackles and interceptions, and has chipped in a sack on the season thus far as well. Speaking of sacks, the Dolphins defensive line has started to spark in recent weeks in the pass rush. There are now six dolphins with at least two sacks. Even special teams has scored in recent weeks with two kick return touchdowns by two different return specialists, Jakeem Grant and Sanchez Meadows.
It is these sparks that the coaching staff stayed focused on through their early season tough losses. The opportunities were there but they weren't taking advantage. They needed more consistency and they needed Josh Allen to show his was worth the draft picks sent away for him this pre-season. The offense finally got into rhythm with a Week 5 win on the road in San Francisco where the team relied on a strong defensive showing with a (mostly)mistake free offensive game. But it was Week 6 where both sides of the ball finally came together to look like the AFC East Division Champions of last season. Allen showed he had the potential for game-carrying performances with more than 400 passing yards and 6 passing touchdowns. The most important stat, according to Dolphins Quarterback Coach Chuck Tilly, is that Allen kept himself to one interception - a "dummy-headed mistake" that his coach was quick to bring up on the sideline tablets. Allen didn't let the bump-in-the-road bother him and roared forward to carry the Dolphins into the mid point of the season, and two very difficult match-ups at home, in an exciting fashion. His main beneficiaries were tight end Mike Gesicki who nabbed seven receptions for nearly 200 hundred yards and 2 touchdowns. Kenny Stills had more of a taste for the end-zone with 3 receiving touchdowns to go with his 127 receiving yards.
Moving ahead the Dolphins have to defend home field against the surging Raiders and division rival Buffalo before getting to their week 9 bye.