Who would have thought on Halloween, when the Dolphins were 1-7, that they would somehow get back in playoff contention heading into their late bye week. That is exactly what has happened as Miami won their fifth straight game on Sunday, beating the New York Giants 20-9. It is the second time in NFL history that a team has had a five-game winning streak after losing seven straight. Ironically, the Giants in 1994 was the first team to follow a seven-game slide, with five consecutive wins.
Once again, the Dolphins' defense paved the road to victory. The Dolphins did not allow a touchdown, as the Giants managed just 250 yards, with Mike Glennon completing 23 of 44 passes for 187 yards. Miami also had three sacks, while Xavien Howard had an interception. The Dolphins' offense also had their issues with several dropped passes. However, late in the second quarter, Miami had their best drive, going 89 yards in 14 places as Mack Hollins made a brilliant catch to give the Dolphins a 10-3 lead at the break.
The Giants had a good drive in the third quarter, but the Dolphins' defense made the key stops and limited New York to a field goal. In the fourth quarter, Tua Tagovailoa had a great drive, tossing a perfect pass to Isiah Ford to extend Miami's lead to 17-6. Tagovailoa was solid again on Sunday, completing 30 of 41 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle, who was shaken up in the fourth quarter, set a team record with 85 receptions as a rookie. Waddle had nine receptions for 90 yards, making a critical first-down catch on the play he was injured on. While leaving the field, Jaylen Waddle received a big ovation from the fans at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jason Sanders missed a 52-yard field goal, opening the door for the Giants. However, once again, New York was forced to settle for a field goal. Sanders would hit a 48-yard field goal to put the game on ice, as the Dolphins improved to 6-7 on the season. The Dolphins will be the last four teams in the NFL to have a bye week in 2021 next week. Following the bye week, the Dolphins will host the New York Jets with a chance to get back to .500.
What a difference six weeks make. The Dolphins were on the way to a disastrous season at 1-7, with the prospect of giving up a top-five pick, but with every win, the Dolphins trade to draft Jaylen Waddle looks better as the Eagles pick drops into the middle of the first round from the top five. If somehow the Dolphins can win their final four games, they could sneak into the playoffs. Of course, that means I can't shave; I may end up looking like ZZ Top if the Dolphins get the Super Bowl.