NFL Week 12 lessons learned

December 1, 2021 06:05 PM
vontobelnfl

It was an emotional week for me in the NFL, as the Indianapolis Colts’ failed cover cost me a share of the first-place prize in the Westgate SuperContest six-week contest, but this is a brutal game. Instead of wallowing in pity, we must pick up and move on! This week, let’s take a look at the recent success of Miami and how it projects, and what Las Vegas’ offensive explosion against Dallas means for this week’s meeting with Washington.

Dolphins barely getting by

The two hottest teams in the league play in the AFC East, and one is the Miami Dolphins. After its 33-10 win over Carolina last weekend, Miami is 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four games with a + 50 point differential, and the offense seems to be getting better each week. However, a deep dive on the Dolphins’ four victories paints a different picture, one of a team getting by on smoke and mirrors and due for a letdown if the market props them up too high.

Let’s begin with this win over the Panthers. A brief look at the score tells you the Dolphins dropped their highest point total of the season on a Carolina defense that went into the week ranked sixth in defensive DVOA. On the surface, that is a brilliant accomplishment, but a simple glance at some numbers tells us otherwise. Miami averaged just 4.4 yards per play and 28.6 yards per drive for the game. One of the Dolphins’ touchdowns came on a 9-yard drive after an interception of Cam Newton, and the other came via a blocked punt. This has been the theme of Miami’s success throughout its winning streak. Over these four games, the Dolphins’ offense is averaging just 4.81 yards per play and 28.0 yards per drive. Those are very poor offensive numbers, but when your defense forces nine turnovers and scores two touchdowns, they are good enough to win games. However, turnovers are largely random. When they stop coming, what happens to your team when the offense can do next to nothing?

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