Miami Dolphins: Top 5 Performers From Week 13 Victory Over New York Jets
Miami Dolphins: Top 5 Performers From Win Over Jets
The victory also pulled Miami into a tie with the Baltimore Ravens for the second wild card opening in the AFC. Although the Ravens own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Dolphins, they have a slightly more difficult remaining schedule.
Aside from the playoff implications, beating the rival Jets is always satisfying for the Dolphins, and beating them in dominating fashion amplifies said satisfaction even more. Miami won by 20 points on Sunday, but could have realistically won by 30-plus.
The Dolphins had 15 more first downs than the Jets, ran 26 more plays, produced 276 more total yards and controlled the time of possession by over 17 minutes. A missed field goal, an interception and two failed fourth-down conversion attempts inside Jets territory during the game's first half prevented the Dolphins from making Sunday's game one of the most lopsided in the storied rivalry's history.
The Dolphins must aim to clean up their mistakes down the stretch, but fans have to be encouraged by their dominance despite of them. Sunday's win has positioned the Dolphins for an exciting final month of the season. Before we turn the page on Sunday's win and begin breaking down a crucial Week 14 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, let's highlight the top five performers from the Dolphins' Week 13 win over the Jets.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.
5. Mike Wallace
The $60 million man is finally beginning to live up to his billing. Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill weren't able to connect on a deep ball against the Jets like they were able to on two occasions in Week 12, but they were able to pick on a suspect Antonio Cromartie in the short-to-intermediate game throughout. Wallace caught seven passes on nine targets for 82 yards and a touchdown in Miami's Week 13 win. After an unimpressive start to the season, Wallace is now on pace to finish near the 1,000-yard milestone and heads into a showdown against his former team with plenty of momentum.
4. Brent Grimes
There aren't enough adjectives to describe how well Brent Grimes has played in 2013 for the Dolphins. The generously listed 5-foot-10 cornerback continues to handcuff opposing receivers with stellar coverage and show off phenomenal ball skills when tested. Grimes picked off his fourth pass of the season on Sunday in the Meadowlands. He also only allowed two completions that totalled seven yards in coverage.
3. Ryan Tannehill
The second-year quarterback wasn't perfect on Sunday. He missed on two fourth-down throws that left points on the field during the game's first half. Against a better team, those mistakes could have cost the Dolphins. But against the Jets, the outcome was never really in doubt. Tannehill found a rhythm in the second half, connecting on touchdown passes to Wallace and Brian Hartline. After somewhat of a shaky start, Tannehill did a fantastic job of getting the football out of his hands quickly and making proper reads to go elsewhere with the football when his primary target was taken away. His 331 passing yards is the second-highest total of his young career.
2. Olivier Vernon
Don't look now, but one of GM Jeff Ireland's draft picks is beginning to turn the corner in his second year. Defensive end Olivier Vernon is developing into a real force as a pass rusher. Vernon registered 2.5 sacks on Sunday, bringing his total to a team-leading 10 on the year. The Miami native must continue to improve his ability to set the edge versus the run, but he's made serious strides in rushing the passer in 2013. If only the Dolphins could get more of an impact out of the third-overall pick of April's draft, Dion Jordan, they would have three dangerous pass rushers for opposing offenses to account for.
1. Brian Hartline
Many believed Hartline peaked in 2012 after being force-fed as the offense's go-to receiver. Surprisingly, he's actually on pace to have a better statistical season than he had a year ago. He already has three times the touchdowns with three on the year, which is tied for the career-high he set as a rookie. While Hartline is on pace to record slightly less than the 1,083 receiving yards he produced last season, he's on schedule to shatter the career-best total receptions mark he set in 2012. On Sunday, Hartline put up a season-high 127 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Latest Story Should Erase Any Manziel Sympathizers
Many Browns fans were upset with the benching of Johnny Manziel, but a new development from Fox Sports should erase all doubt about his loss of the starting job. Read More