The Miami Dolphins completed their second three-game win streak of the season after surviving the Chicago Bears, 35-32, on the road in Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season. At 6-3, the Dolphins are now tied for second place in the AFC East. Here we will look at Tua Tagovailoa and three other Miami Dolphins heroes most responsible for their Week 9 win vs. the Bears
The Dolphins went into Soldier Field, had their third NFC North showdown of the season, and defeated the Bears. Miami scored touchdowns in four of their first five offensive drives, with their fifth coming on the Bears’ first punt, which they blocked and returned for a 25-yard score.
The Bears didn’t fold easily, though. QB Justin Fields had one more chance to lead the Bears to OT or a win when Chicago took possession with 2:50 remaining. He only managed one first down before a sack and successive incompletions ended their last-ditch efforts.
The Dolphins continue to be unbeaten as long as Tagovailoa starts and finishes a game this season. They brought the heat to the Windy City and are looking mighty dangerous.
Let us look at Tua Tagovailoa and three other Miami Dolphins heroes most responsible for their Week 9 win vs. the Bears.
4. LB Jaelan Phillips
Dolphins special teams coach Danny Crossman was ecstatic after linebacker Jaelan Phillips blocked a Bears punt. Andrew Van Ginkel then ran it in for a score in the second quarter to give his side a 21-10 lead.
That sequence put a big smile on Crossman’s face, especially since his special teams unit has been a tad inconsistent this season. His move to put the 6’5 Phillips on the punt block team, though, was quite brilliant.
Given that Phillips entered the game ranked 31st among Dolphins players with only 19 special teams snaps, we believe nobody really expected him to be on that play. Still, he trooped to the field and produced a positive outcome. Don’t be shocked if we see more of him in the coming weeks.
3. WR Jaylen Waddle
Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle caught five of seven receptions for 85 yards and a score in the big win.
Waddle’s air yards were second overall behind the other half of the Dolphins’ premier wideout combo, whom we’ll discuss in a bit. Still, it was another productive effort for the second-year wideout, who now has six touchdown receptions on the season. Half of those, in fact, have come in the past two games. It looks like he’s heating up at a very good time for Miami.
Waddle has also had at least 85 yards total in four straight games and at least seven targets in three of those games. That gives him plenty of momentum heading into a critical home game against the Browns in Week 10.
Tua Tagovailoa to Jaylen Waddle for a Touchdown 🐘🔥pic.twitter.com/5d2oekGJy4
— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) November 6, 2022
2. WR Tyreek Hill
Star WR Tyreek Hill caught seven of eight targets for 143 yards and a score in this Week 9 W. He actually surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season in the second quarter.
That was quite exciting since Hill is trending to become the first player in NFL history to have 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. If that does happen, Hill may end up being the finest offensive player in Dolphins history — other than Dan Marino, of course.
Hill exhibited what is quickly becoming a routine for him during his brief but productive career with the Dolphins. He also made his third trip to the end zone this season with a three-yard touchdown grab early in the second quarter. Hill has also now surpassed the 140-yard mark five times in his first nine games.
It’s crystal clear that Hill’s arrival has changed the entire complexion of Miami’s offense. They’re certainly much more dangerous than ever.
1. QB Tua Tagovailoa
Anyone who thinks Tua Tagovailoa’s early-season success was a fluke needs to have his head checked. Tagovailoa shone once more on Sunday amid Chicago’s frigid and windy circumstances.
What’s most surprising, however, was his ability to hit deep ball after long ball to both Hill and Waddle. He will probably end the season with one of the NFL’s top completion percentages, though is that really a big shocker? It should not be.
More promising, however, is that Tagovailoa might be at the top of the league in yards per attempt. Keep in mind that he completed throws of 17, 18, 25, 26, and 39 yards in the first half of this game alone. He is definitely playing with a tremendous amount of faith in himself. It also goes to show how he has put confidence in this offensive system and in his teammates. That’s unquestionably a 180-degree turn from how this team was last season.