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Miami Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant provided a boost on special teams against the Los Angeles Rams

NFL: 5 takeaways from the Miami Dolphins' Week 8 win over the Los Angeles Rams

In a somewhat surprising upset, the Los Angeles Rams flew across the country to square off against the Miami Dolphins and were defeated by a final score of 28-17.

Both the Dolphins (4-3) and the Rams (5-3) had noteworthy performances in this matchup, so let’s dive in a bit further.


5. The Miami Dolphins' Special Teams Played A Special Game

The special teams talk coming into the game was mostly focused on Rams punter Johnny Hekker, and rightfully so, after he pinned the Chicago Bears deep in their own territory time after time in L.A.'s recent "Monday Night Football" win.

Hekker played fine in this game as well, but the Miami Dolphins special teams unit took center stage. Jakeem Grant, who is one of the most prolific return men in Miami Dolphins' history, took a second-quarter Hekker punt 88 yards back to the house for a touchdown.

As it turned out, that play basically took the Rams out of contention early, and they were never able to recover.


4. Robert Woods: Full-Time Wide Receiver, Part-Time Running Back

The Los Angeles Rams continue to get creative with their backfield in the post-Todd Gurley era. Sean McVay’s offense has featured jet sweeps, and fakes off of that action for many years now, but WR Robert Woods continues to take advantage of his coach’s play designs on the ground.

Woods took a handoff from QB Jared Goff to pay dirt, to give the Rams an early first quarter lead.


In a role he’s more accustomed to, the WR also caught a touchdown pass later in the game.

3. Load Up the Van: Miami Dolphins LB's Swarming to the Ball

In a curious offseason move, Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier decided to part ways with former second round pick LB Raekwon McMillan, who was only going into his fourth NFL season. McMillan started 12 out of the 13 games he played last season, which made fans wonder why they would give up on him.


As it turned out, their LB corps would be just fine, as Andrew Van Ginkel and Kyle Van Noy proved on Sunday.

Van Noy was in on nine tackles against the Rams and recovered a fumble. Van Ginkel provided the Hard Rock Stadium faithful with a thrilling scoop and score in the 2nd quarter to give the Miami Dolphins a lead they would not relinquish.

2. Re-Examining Jared Goff As a Legitimate Franchise Quarterback

Of course, the Rams don’t have too much recourse to reverse direction on a player they rewarded with a four year, $134 million extension in September 2019, but QB Jared Goff’s play on Sunday was the main reason why Los Angeles wasn’t really in the game after the first quarter.

He threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles against the Miami Dolphins, which during any game is too many. However, all the Rams needed to do in this game was make a couple of plays and take care of the football against a quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa) making his first career start. Those turnovers breathed life into a Dolphins team that was struggling to move the ball, which is not what fans would expect from the young veteran signal-caller at this point of his career.


1. Tua Tagovailoa’s Shaky First NFL Start

If you had told Miami Dolphins fans that Miami would enter the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game with a 28-10 lead, most people would have assumed that QB Tua Tagovailoa was having a stellar first start.

It really was anything but, as an Aaron Donald forced fumble and Michael Brockers suplex into the turf seemed to rattle the young quarterback for most of the game.

On paper, this was supposed to be a rough outing for Tagovailoa, going up against the Rams talented front seven, and he didn’t show many glimpses of stardom. Fortunately for him, things should get easier next week against the Arizona Cardinals.

Edited by
Amaar Burton
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