Photo courtesy of Miami Dolphins
It would have been unthinkable at the end of October, but the Miami Dolphins now occupy the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
Miami moved into that spot with a 20-3 road victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. The victory for the Dolphins was their seventh straight.
At 8-7, Miami is over .500 for the first time since winning its opener. The Dolphins will now travel to take on the Tennessee Titans in their final road game of the 2021 season.
Before that happens, here are five “Fin”teresting facts following Monday night’s win at the Caesars Superdome:
1. A Sacks Machine
It seems like this is an item every week, but the Miami Dolphins set another season-high for sacks. Miami got to New Orleans quarterback Ian Book eight times in Monday night’s win. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah led the way with two sacks while linebacker Jerome Baker added 1.5.
Zach Sieler, Brandon Jones and Xavien Howard also recorded sacks in the win. Recording half-sacks were Jevon Holland and Raekwon Davis. The eight sacks is not only a season-high, but the most for Miami since also recording eight in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals in September 2012.
2. Firsts for Dolphins’ DBs
During Monday night’s victory, a pair of Miami defensive backs recorded notable firsts. On New Orleans’ first possession, Nik Needham intercepted Ian Book’s pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. It served as Needham’s first career touchdown. Book’s final pass of the night was intercepted by safety Brandon Jones. It served as the first interception of Jones’ career.
3. Unlucky 7, Lucky 7
Monday’s victory served as the seventh straight for the Dolphins. The current streak succeeded a 7-game losing streak. Miami is now the first team in NFL history to have a 7-game winning streak and 7-game losing streak in the same season.
4. Waddle-ing Into Elite Company
Miami Dolphins’ rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is on the verge of making history and actually tied history on Monday night. In the victory, Waddle finished with 10 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. The 10 catches tied Jerry Rice’s record for most catches by a rookie on Monday Night Football.
Waddle’s 96 catches for the season ranks second all-time among rookies. Waddle is five catches away from tying Anquan Boldin’s rookie receptions record set in 2003.
5. Dolphins’ D Stays Dominant
It was against a depleted New Orleans team, but Monday’s defensive performance may have been the best for the Dolphins all season. In addition to the eight sacks, Miami allowed a season-low three points and 164 total yards. The Saints went 0-for-12 on third down in the loss. During Miami’s 7-game winning streak, it has kept three of its opponents out of the end zone.
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.