On Both Sides of Ball, Dolphins Present Questions to Chiefs

On Both Sides of Ball, Dolphins Present Questions to Chiefs

By: Joshua Brisco

The Miami Dolphins may have an argument as the most interesting opponent the Kansas City Chiefs will face this season. Not the best or most fearsome, but a team with significant promise and many questions that can only be answered over time.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is a top contender for the NFL’s Coach of the Year award, leading Miami to an 8-4 record and playoff contention, largely on the back of the league’s second-best defense by points allowed. (Miami has allowed 212 points in 2020. In first place, the Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed 211.)

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have given the keys to their quarterback of the future, Tua Tagovailoa. They started the season with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm before turning to Tua before their seventh game of the season. Tagovailoa suffered a thumb injury that caused him to miss the Dolphins’ win over the New York Jets before returning in a 19-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Tua hasn’t been earth-shattering, but the Dolphins have been good enough around him to stay in playoff contention, with the bulk of the credit again returning to the defense.

On Wednesday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid discussed Flores’ defense and if it has anything in common with the New England Patriots’ defense that Flores was a part of from 2011-2018.

“Brian’s a great defensive mind, so he’s sharp,” Reid said. “He did run the defense there in New England, and when we were in the championship game, he was the one calling them. So, he knows that thing backward and forward, and you can see it. You can see it in how those guys are playing. They’re one of the top defenses in the league and that’s maybe why. They play hard, aggressive, definitely maximizing everything he’s got there.”

On the other side of the ball, Reid discussed Tagovailoa’s start to his young career and the challenge that he will present on Sunday.

“He’s a good football player, so is Fitz,” Reid said. “They’ve got two good quarterbacks, so you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the right side and the left side covered. But Tua’s got a great future, and Brian knows that, so they’re working him in and he’s producing for them. It looks like it’s a really good draft pick for them.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also took time on Wednesday to discuss what he’s seen from Tagovailoa so far in the NFL and how his game has translated from his collegiate success at Alabama.

“You can see it from his college career and then now in his pro career,” Mahomes said. “He knows how to manage the game and manage the situation. I mean, he does a good job of knowing that his defense, his special teams are working, and [he] can do what he can on offense to put up enough points to win football games. He’s done that his whole career and that’s truly a remarkable thing.”