In a game where the Dolphins' offense absolutely could not get out of its own way, the defense stole the show, led by its cornerback cornerstone, Jalen Ramsey, in a 20-13 win against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Ramsey the Ball HawkThe first Ramsey interception came in the third quarter and was of the eye-popping variety. Ramsey, keenly aware of all downfield threats, even in a full backpedal, cut in front of a Raiders wide receiver, dove headfirst, and snatched an Aidan O'Connell pass to end a drive that seemed destined to give the Raiders the lead.
After missing the first seven games of the season while recovering from a meniscus tear suffered during training camp, Ramsey's knee is fully healthy. (If it's not, opponents would hate to see what he looks like at one hundred percent.)
The electric pickoff even had Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel in awe. He later commented that both of Ramsey's interceptions would have received a "10" from the Olympic judges.
Mike McDaniel on Jalen Ramsey: “I’m hoping they throw at him.”— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) November 19, 2023
“Both interceptions were out of control in difficulty level.” pic.twitter.com/4koC5EHpRe
Speaking to the media after the game, McDaniel said of Ramsey's game-changing plays that "both interceptions were out of control in difficulty level." Indeed, they were out of control. Both literally and figuratively.
Jalen Ramsey is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BACK pic.twitter.com/gtL8TBmc7b— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 19, 2023
Game, BlousesThere could only be one way to end the hard-fought, messy contest: with the most insane and acrobatic Jalen Ramsey move possible. With the Raiders creeping on the Dolphins' doorstep, preparing to send the game into overtime, O'Connell tossed the ball deep into the end zone, only to be thwarted by a flying Ramsey hawk, the rarest bird of them all, which snatched the pass out of the sky.
Ramsey took the ball from the highest point of his leap, like a shark breaching the ocean. He stayed down for a moment after falling on his prey but returned moments later to celebrate the win with the Hard Rock Stadium crowd.
What's NextAfter a trip to Germany to play the Chiefs and a subsequent bye week, the Dolphins were back within the familiar confines of Hard Rock Stadium for the first time since late October for a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders that felt like a launchpad for the second half of the season. Entering the game 6-3, and with the rest of the AFC East struggling, Miami had a chance to take a stranglehold on the division and AFC playoff home-field advantage — and they did just that.
Now 7-3 and firmly ahead of the Buffalo Bills for first place in its division, Miami will invade Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets in a rare Black Friday game that begins at 3:00 p.m. — all-around weird.
Matchups against two more languishing teams, the Washington Commanders and Tennessee Titans, will offer Ramsey more easy prey and opportunities to sink his claws into the pigskin.
Correction published 11/20/2023 4:15 p.m.: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the Miami Dolphins' November 24 game against the New York Jets will be played in Miami at Hard Rock Stadium.
The version above has been updated to reflect that the teams are in fact scheduled to face off at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.