The Miami Dolphins cemented themselves as a Super Bowl contender on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns with a convincing 39-17 win. Cleveland has yet to win back-to-back games this season while Miami is riding a four-game bye-week winning streak.
The Browns were unable to establish momentum on the field while the Dolphins turned the script around. Cleveland’s inability to stop the run was amplified at Hard Rock Stadium as Miami hit a season-high 33 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Accurate and efficient quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found eight different pass catchers totaling 302 passing yards.
Miami took a 17-7 locker room lead at halftime and never looked back.
Why the Dolphins won
Head coach Mike McDaniel and defensive coordinator Josh Boyer outperformed their peers. Miami spotted Cleveland and identified its inability to stop the run and exploited it again and again and again. The Dolphins got everything they wanted on the ground from 195 rushing yards. Meanwhile, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa nicked the secondary and extended drives. They scored on seven of eight possessions before kneeling to end the game. Cleveland didn’t have enough explosive play ability to keep up.
The Dolphins defense, led by defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and an offensive front, stifled the Browns’ running game.
Why the Browns lost
The Dolphins came away with points on seven of their eight offensive possessions. The bettor has never seen the field. Miami converted 6 of 11 third attempts and 1 of 2 fourth attempts. It never seemed like Cleveland had a competitive edge. The Browns have always had their backs against the wall and the AFC East team have often converted with ease. When the opposing attack does not come out of the field, it is difficult to win football matches.
Game of the game
The decision ultimately resulted in a third Jaylen Waddle conversion and a touchdown reception by wide receiver Trent Sherfield, with the favor falling on the latter. With rookie cornerback Martin Emerson in cover, Sherfield gave a bit of a push, went over and made a diving reception in the end zone to give Miami a 17-7 lead entering the locker room at mid -time.
The Browns drop to 3-6 with a road trip to Buffalo next week. The team is only two games without Deshaun Watson this season, but a loss to the Bills would essentially end any hopes of making the playoffs. The scorching Dolphins will likely be the favorites in each of their remaining games, with the possible exception of Dec. 18 against the Bills. Miami enters a bye week on a four-game winning streak.