Miami Dolphins Snap Conclusions from mashing of New England Patriots

Joe Schad
Palm Beach Post
Miami Dolphins running back Lynn Bowden (15) looks for running room in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, December 20, 2020.

The Dolphins' master plan is coming together. They are young. They are talented. They are well-coached. And they are clearly better than the Patriots.


Here is a look at Miami's snap count totals in a 22-12 defeat of the eminently-beatable Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.

WR Lynn Bowden (66 snaps, 90 percent) — Only Mack Hollins, who played 96 percent of snaps, played more at receiver than Bowden, after DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant were both scratched. Bowden is a real threat every time he touches the ball and there's no reason he shouldn't be a strong contender for Miami's slot receiver position in 2021. Bowden led Miami with six catches for 37 yards.

RB Salvon Ahmed (44 snaps, 60 percent) — It's entirely possible Ahmed is Miami's most potentially-impactful overall running back. Ahmed has a bit more burst than Myles Gaskin, if a bit less than Matt Breida. Ahmed has a bit more shake-and-bake than Gaskin though perhaps he's not quite as solid a blocker. Gaskin has broken a few more tackles. Ahmed averages 4.6 yards per carry, which is more than Breida and Gaskin. Patrick Laird has had some sneaky-good runs and is averaging 5.5 yards on 13 carries.

More:Miami Dolphins' Salvon Ahmed breaks out with 122 yards

LB Kyle Van Noy (55 snaps, 100 percent) — Van Noy doesn't like to talk about injuries but it's clear after missing one game due to a hip injury, he's feeling fine now. Van Noy has had at least four different injuries this season. In this game he had three tackles, including one for loss, and nearly had an interception, which he was lamenting after the game. Van Noy helped Miami limit Cam Newton to 38 rushing yards.

S Bobby McCain (31 snaps, 56 percent) — McCain was limited by an ankle injury, but his return was critical for the Dolphins. Newton was limited to 209 yards passing and didn't really complete a ton of long passes. Miami really misses McCain, who is their trusted centerfielder and defensive back communication leader, when he's out. It will be beneficial if he's feeling close to 100 percent when Miami plays at Buffalo on Jan. 3.

More:5 Instant Takeaways: Dolphins overpower Patriots, make AFC East statement

DT Raekwon Davis (39 snaps, 71 percent) — Davis led all Dolphins defensive linemen in snaps, though he recorded only one tackle. Zach Sieler was limited to 29 snaps in this game. The Dolphins are going to lean on Davis as their run-plugging nose tackle for years to come. It will be fascinating to watch if he hits his ceiling.

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