By: Jason Sarney
News, Notes and Stats leading to today's Dolphins at Bears Pre-Season Game at 1:00 on EST!
Today, the Miami Dolphins face off against the Chicago Bears. This is the 15th time these teams will meet in preseason. The last regular-season matchup was a memorable 31-28 OT win in MIA for the Dolphins back on 9/14/18 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Here are some fun notes leading into the unofficial kick-off to the 2021 season.
Football is back! Sort of.
-In 2020, MIA jumped out the gates red-hot. In 1st quarters last season, the Dolphins outscored opponents 103-55. That +48 differential was 2nd best in NFL. Getting out to leads early, with THIS defense, is clearly the key to their success.
-Since Brian Flores became MIA Dolphins head coach in 2019, the two LEAST penalized teams in the NFL in both number of flags as well as yards are the Miami Dolphins & the New England Patriots.
-As of 8/9/21- this is the make-up of the 90-man MIA Dolphin team:
-45 OFF players, 41 DEF & 4 specialists
-28 (31.1%) were drafted by MIA.
-16 Were UDFAs
-43 were NOT drafted into NFL
-44 started NFL career in MIA
-84 players are 28 years old or younger
-88 under 30 years old
-DeVante Parker needs just 863 receiving yards to move into the Top 5 of Miami Dolphins all-time leading WRs, taking that spot from @TheFishTank81 's own, @ojmcduffie81. Parker is currently 8th all-time for Miami with 4,212 yards.
-George Godsey is MIA's CO-Offensive Coordinator: The rest is for Fantasy Players too: He was in charge of the TE's last year. In 2020 the 91 recs & 1,061 receiving yards were the most by any MIA TE unit in a single-season in team history & the rooms 11 TDs were tied for the most.
-Jaylen Waddle is entering the NFL from WR U, Alabama. Waddle's 18.9 career yards per catch average is 2nd best in the history of that storied program's WR fraternity.
-Last season, Emmanuel Ogbah had a 6-game sack streak. This was tied for 2nd longest such streak in MIA history, behind HOFer Jason Taylor's 8-game streak in 2002. Ogbah tied with Myles Garrett for the longest sack streak of 2020. Garrett was the NO. 1 overall pick in 2017.
-Xavien Howard had 20 passes defense in his elite 2020 season. It was arguably MIA's best CB season ever. He had the most PDs for MIA since 2000 when legendary Patrick Surtain had 21.
-Michael Palardy is a hometown Punter. He played his HS ball at @STA_Football . The same HS that Jason Taylor is the current Defensive Coordinator.
-Lynn Bowden Jr. is a tricky call. In limited action last season, the rookie was utilized in all aspects of the offense. He caught 28 recs for 211 yards. Carried 9 times for 32 yards & was even 1 for 2 in passing, hitting a 32-yard pass completion to Myles Gaskin against BUF Week 17.
-Here is who I am watching fight for their opportunity to be a MIA Dolphin today
1- Kirk Merritt
2- Robert Jones
3- Durval Queiroz Neto (Time to cash in the investment)
4- Cameron Tom
5- Carl Tucker (He needs to hit someone hard. I mean - de-cleat them) NEED A LEAD BLOCKER!
Mike Gesicki Time:
-He had 703 receiving yards in 2020 which was the 2nd-most in a single season by a MIA TE. (Randy McMichael '04)
-Last season, while missing a game & a half, was still the 4th highest yards producing TE in the NFL (703) behind Travis Kelce (1,1416), Darren Waller (1,196) & TJ Hockenson (723).
-He has increased his Yards per reception in all of his three NFL seasons. 2018: 9.2 2019: 11.2 2020: 13.3 He has increased his receptions, his yards, his TDs, and his YPC in succession those years heading into a contract year in 2020.
-On 126 career catches he has 11 TDs. He scores a TD every 11.4 receptions. Travis Kelce scores a TD every 12.75 receptions. Darren Waller, in his career, takes 15.5 receptions per TD. Gesicki had 0 2018 TDs. So the last 2 seasons his ratio on 104 catches & his 11 TDs
-Will Fuller has a career avg. of 14.9 yds per catch. Last year, although only playing in 11 games, had 879 yds. Which was 16.6 per reception. Of all NFL WRs w/ at least 50+ catches in 2020, Fuller was 2nd in yds per catch. #1, in this case, was DJ Moore at 18.1. #3 Jerry Jeudy.
-Raekwon Davis finished his rookie season last year w/ 40 tackles. That was the 2nd highest for rookie D-linemen. The leader had 44 & was Chase Young. Davis played in 52% of MIA defensive snaps. Young played in 74% of WAS defensive snaps. Davis was the 56th pick Young 2nd.
-Myles Gaskin is lowkey a stud: In 11 games in 2020 he had 97.2 scrimmage yds per game, 10th in the NFL w/ a min. of 10 games. AND believe it or not... His 9.5 yards per catch (41 recs) last year versus the other NFL RBs w/ at least 30, was tied for NO. 1 w/ David Johnson