Ja’Wuan James learned much from his training camp battles with Cam Wake.
On Sunday, he was just happy Wake was schooling someone else.
“He made me feel a little bit better about myself,” James said with a chuckle.
“I’ll say that. During practice and all throughout camp, I was like, ‘Am I the only one getting beat like that?’ He made me feel a little bit better about myself. It was fun going out there and playing ball.”
While Wake terrorized the Patriots with two strip-sacks Sunday, James kept a clean sheet. He kept Ryan Tannehill upright in four impressive quarters, a strong debut for the Dolphins’ first-round pick.
As an offensive line, Sunday’s win silenced many of its doubters — at least for now. New England had 10 sacks in two games against Miami last year; on Sunday, the Patriots managed just one. Furthermore, the Dolphins churned out 191 yards on the ground, averaging 5 yards a carry.
“I think that we all just worked together today,” said new left tackle Branden Albert. “All the running backs, they ran the ball hard. I still feel like we got Ryan hit a little bit too much. He did good a job staying in the pocket. We ended up winning the game.”
The Dolphins’ special teams, shaky in the preseason, was a rock Sunday.
Rookie Chris McCain set the tone in the opening minutes, blocking Ryan Allen’s punt and setting up the Dolphins’ first touchdown.
Meanwhile, Caleb Sturgis’ injured groin looks just fine. He nailed all four of his field goal attempts and had touchbacks on five of his eight kickoffs. Brandon Fields punted just twice, but averaged 50 yards per kick.
And Jarvis Landry handled return duties without a major miscue. He did get popped on one return, but hung onto the football.
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Mike Pouncey Philip Wheeler Jordan Tripp Bruce Gaston Jason Fox Billy Turner Terrence Fede
Jason Trusnik Dan Marino Jason Taylor