The 2022 season has been one of streaks for the Miami Dolphins. They began the year with three straight wins, followed by three consecutive losses, only to follow up with a five-game win streak and yet another trio of losses immediately after that.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season in a number of regards, but the final loop is approaching. Starting on Sunday, the Dolphins will be one of six Christmas Day teams, as they host the Green Bay Packers.
The 8-6 Dolphins enter Week 16 ready for a home game against the 6-8 Packers. Miami is 10-5 against Green Bay in their all-time series, with the Packers winning four of the last five. Miami’s last win in this series was at Green Bay in 2010, and their last home win was back in 2000.
The Dolphins and Packers first faced off against each other in 1971. From that game through the mid-90s, the Dolphins went 8-0 in the series, and Green Bay’s first win against Miami came on September 14, 1997.
Back to the present, the Dolphins are in a position to earn a playoff spot without winning out, however, after three straight games without a victory, Miami could make life much easier for them, and shoot for anything other than the seventh seed. A seventh seed is a ticket to Buffalo or Kansas City, pending who earns the bye or the second seed.
Heading into Week 16, Miami would face the Chiefs, but could even move up to the fifth seed with a whole lot of luck and some losses from the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.
For any conceivable shot at a fifth seed, would mean a doable road Wild Card game against the Tennesse Titans (as of now) or even a shocking thought of potentially the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Believe it or not, after beating the Jets on Thursday night, they face the Texans in Houston and will play the finale against the Titans, which could be for the division.
There’s also the mathematical possibility that the Cincinnati Bengals play up to the second seed, thus making the Bills or Chiefs a third seed, in which that team would face the sixth seed in round one, which could be Miami.
Without getting ahead of the Packers, the Dolphins must take care of business at Hard Rock Stadium, a place where they’re 11-1 in their past 12 games. They’re looking to go 12-1 at home for the first time since the mid-1980s.
That lone loss was without Tua Tagovailoa, when Skylar Thompson started against the Minnesota Vikings back in Week 6, only to be injured and have Teddy Bridgewater come in to finish the game.
Miami begins this vital stretch with the Packers, before traveling to New England next Sunday and concluding the regular season with a home game against the New York Jets, which could very well be a win-and-in situation…for both teams.
Here are some things to note heading into Sunday:
- In addition to being the NFL’s leader in passer rating (107.8), Tagovailoa is also the league leader in red zone passer rating (111.8). Additionally, he’s No. 1 in touchdown-to-interception ratio (24:5), yards per attempt (8.63) and yards per completion (13.33).
- Tagovailoa is within striking distance of being Miami’s all-time single-season passer rating leader, as Dan Marino currently holds the record, posting a 108.9 rating from his historic 1984 campaign.
- He’s second in the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating (116.1).
- On third downs, Tagovailoa has been magnificent, completing 65-of-99 passes (65.7%) for 962 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. His 134.3 passer rating in these situations is the third-highest third-down passer rating in a season since the NFL started to track passer rating by down in 1991.
- His 9.72 yards per attempt on third downs this season is the second-best mark in the league.
- In the fourth quarter, over his career, Tagovailoa has completed 166-of-237 passes (70.0%) for 16 touchdowns and six interceptions – good for a 105.2 rating.
- Tyreek Hill is having a record-breaking year in his first season in Miami. Already the Dolphins’ single-season yardage leader, passing Mark Clayton’s 1984 record, Hill is just four receptions away from being the leader in receptions as well. The record is currently 112, held by Jarvis Landry from the 2017 season.
- This season, Hill has four games of 160+ receiving yards in just 14 games so far with the Dolphins. It’s the second-most in team history behind Mark Duper, who had six such games in 69 contests.
- Hill has gone over 100 receiving yards in six games this year, with five of them coming in Miami’s seven road games. That’s tied for the second-most 100-yard receiving games in a season by a Dolphins player and just two shy of the team record of eight, set by Duper in the 1986 season.
- Waddle is leading the NFL in yards per reception (18.0). This is nearly doubling his average from last season (9.8).
- Waddle has five 100-yard receiving games so far in 2022. He and Hill are the only pair of teammates in Dolphins history to each have at least five 100-yard receiving games in a season. Hill has six.
- The Dolphins’ defense has combined for 15 sacks over the last four weeks. Jaelan Phillips has a five-game streak with at least a half-sack and four total in that span.
- Nine different players have recorded at least a half-sack in the past four games, and four different Dolphins have had multiple sacks since then.
- Wilkins is leading all defensive linemen this season in tackles (81).
- He’s also tied for sixth among league defensive linemen with 14 tackles for loss this season and has recorded a tackle for loss in 10 of his 14 games in 2022.
- In Miami’s first eight games this season, Sieler had 24 tackles, a lone sack, three quarterback hits and one tackle for loss. In his last six games, he’s recorded 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six quarterback hits and four tackles for loss.
- Since publically criticizing himself on the “off” season he is having, Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders is 9-for-9 on point after tries and 8-for-8 on field goal attempts.
- Jevon Holland is one of 10 players this season with multiple interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack and 70+ tackles.
- Kader Kohou has 681 defensive snaps, leading all NFL undrafted rookies this season. He’s also tied for or first among undrafted rookie free agents in tackles (63), forced fumbles (one), and passes defensed (six).