The Miami Dolphins ended their five-game losing streak over the weekend with a dominating performance against an inferior opponent.
They scored in all kinds of ways for a 35-9 win over the hapless Denver Broncos, which helped the Dolphins make some positive strides in the NFL’s week 14 power rankings.
Cornerback Xavien Howard recorded his first two career interceptions, including taking one back 30 yards for a pick-six. The Dolphins also logged two safeties and Terrence Fede blocked a punt.
On offense, Kenyan Drake rushed for a career-high 120 yards and scored the Dolphins second rushing touchdown of the season. Quarterback Jay Cutler didn’t play great as he threw two interceptions, but he did rack up 235 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-31 passing.
With the win, the Dolphins are still in playoff contention, but have a huge game against the Patriots coming up on Monday night.
Below are several rankings from different media outlets along with comments.
NFL.com: No. 24 (up five spots from Week 13)
“The Dolphins' roller-coaster season has four more weeks, so it's not too late to grab a speed pass at Will Call so you don't have to endure those long lines. Bring your plastic cup with squiggly straws for free Mr. Pibb refills,” NFL.com’s Elliott Harrison wrote. “Hey, 35-9 over the Broncos beats the heck out of the bumper cars, too (those are lame even if when you're, like, 10). Kenyan Drake is more burner than bumper; his explosiveness was on full display Sunday. A piece for Adam Gase to build upon in 2018, Drake glided his way to 120 rushing yards on only 23 carries. Highlight of the day was Xavien Howard breaking on a late Trevor Siemian throw. House.”
ESPN.com: No. 24 (up three spots from Week 13)
“The Dolphins have gotten a nice return on third-round cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. He has started 10 games and his seven pass breakups are tied for most on the team with Xavien Howard,” ESPN.com wrote.
CBS Sports: No. 24 (no change from Week 13)
“They showed some fight against the Broncos. Now here come the Patriots,” CBS Sports Pete Prisco wrote.
USA Today: No. 27 (no change from Week 13)
“Kenny Stills' ability to raise his game on a poor offense sure makes it seem like Jarvis Landry might be expendable during offseason,” USA Today wrote.
Sports Illustrated: No. 26 (up one spot from Week 13)
Bleacher Report: No. 23 (up two spots from Week 13)
“One thing that's impressed me about the Dolphins over the last couple of weeks is the secondary play. It's been great. Cornerback Xavien Howard—who had two interceptions against Denver, including a pick-six—has been especially impressive,” Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms wrote. “Miami's defense has the potential to make good things happen up front. With the secondary playing the way it is now, this defense is a challenge for opposing offenses. The big things Miami needs to stay in the playoff race are offensive balance and consistency. Once again, Jay Cutler had some concerning interceptions, but the Dolphins don't need to be putting everything on his shoulders anyway. Miami did run the ball well against Denver, and that's encouraging. Kenyan Drake has the potential to make some big plays; he just needs to keep working on ball security. The Dolphins are managing to stay in the AFC postseason race, but they are going to need some help down the stretch to make the playoffs.”