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Dolphins winning while pursuing that elusive ideal performance – The Mercury News

NewsDolphins winning while pursuing that elusive ideal performance – The Mercury News



Maybe Cleveland turns into that sport for the Miami Dolphins.

Maybe the Browns are the sport the place all of it comes collectively — offense, protection, particular groups, teaching, self-discipline, every part.

“We haven’t but had that sport that you just’re taking pictures for the place you’re feeling like every part has performed to its functionality all the sport,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel mentioned.

McDaniel mentioned he thinks his staff is near having such a whole sport.

Within the absence of the whole sport, the Dolphins will do what they’ve performed on their method to a 6-3 file, they’ll play their very own model of complementary soccer.

At instances, it’s a bumpy highway.

“However alongside the best way,” McDaniel mentioned, “we’re studying these nice classes, and that’s why I’m getting excited concerning the staff and the way we’re getting higher every week.”

The Dolphins, who will host Cleveland (3-5) whereas taking part in their second sport with new edge rusher Bradley Chubb and working again Jeff Wilson Jr., a pair of headline-grabbing commerce deadline acquisitions, have an opportunity to take first place within the AFC East.

If the Dolphins win and Buffalo (6-2) loses to Minnesota (7-1), the Dolphins are in first place.

Whether or not or not that occurs, the Dolphins have proven they will win doing issues their means, so to talk.

McDaniel acknowledged the Dolphins’ model of complementary soccer hasn’t been conventional within the sense it doesn’t at all times work with, say, the protection getting a cease, forcing a punt, and the offense taking the ball down the sector and scoring on the following possession time after time after time.

In reality, McDaniel thinks that’s unrealistic.

“There’s no full domination within the NFL,” McDaniel mentioned.

The Dolphins’ variations of complementary soccer have been a bit uneven, however efficient.

Generally the offense has the magic, typically the protection has the magic, typically particular groups make performs, and typically the magic is just there briefly but it surely surfaces on the proper time.

In victories over Pittsburgh and Detroit the protection pitched second-half shutouts. Inside that, issues weren’t essentially best. The offense didn’t rating within the second half towards the Steelers, but it surely posted 14 factors within the second half towards the Lions.

Within the opener towards New England the offense solely scored one landing however the protection added a landing to help within the 20-7 victory.

In opposition to Baltimore, the protection allowed 38 factors however solely three factors within the fourth quarter whereas the offense scored 28 fourth-quarter factors to snag the 42-38 victory.

Once more, it hasn’t been best but it surely works.

“There’s complementary soccer inside it,” McDaniel.

The sample repeated itself final week within the Dolphins’ 35-32 victory at Chicago.

The Dolphins, who bought a particular groups landing on a blocked punt, had been holding a 35-32 lead early within the fourth quarter and the protection managed to clamp down on Chicago’s ultimate two possessions to keep up that margin regardless of a file 178 yards speeding by Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

“That is the NFL,” McDaniel mentioned. “It’s laborious to have success in both part all the sport. They receives a commission, too.”

In opposition to the Browns, the Dolphins are tasked with controlling working again Nick Chubb, who ranks second within the league with 814 yards speeding.

“You’d be hard-pressed to not name him the most effective again within the league, merely due to what I talked to gamers on a regular basis about,” McDaniel mentioned, later including, “he forces defenders to sort out him each play. And in case you let up in any respect, he’ll have a kind of rugby scrum explosives, the place he’ll impulsively bust out.”

The Dolphins’ run protection has been torched by a pair of quarterbacks — Fields and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (119 yards speeding) and examined by New York Jets working again Breece Corridor (97 yards speeding).

The Browns, nonetheless, are tasked with stopping the Dolphins’ passing sport that’s led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, whose 115.9 passer score leads the NFL, and broad receivers Tyreek Hill (lead-leading 1,104 yards receiving) and Jaylen Waddle (812 yards receiving).

The Dolphins have had their finest back-to-back scoring outputs of the season the previous two weeks with 31 factors at Detroit and 35 factors at Chicago, each spectacular highway showings regardless of coming towards a pair of NFL lightweights.

And the best way McDaniel sees issues, though the Dolphins haven’t but had their best victory, they’re getting higher every week.

“That’s what I hope for this week with the Cleveland Browns,” he mentioned. “I wish to see continued progress in ways in which aren’t perhaps as apparent as simply the straight up field rating, however we’re studying the right way to step up in large moments.

“The extra you try this, the extra you may have an opportunity to have that sport the place everyone seems to be high-fiving on the finish and acknowledging that their finest sport was performed.”

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