Monday Night Football: Miami Dolphins defeat the hapless New Orleans Saints

The Dolphins have managed to play their way back into the postseason picture and in doing so have created a little piece of NFL history.

Monday’s victory in New Orleans, Louisiana, ensured the Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to have a seven-game losing streak and a seven-game winning run in the same season. The last time the Dolphins won seven successive games was back in 1985.

Without 22 players due to Covid-19 protocols, the Saints handed Ian Book his NFL debut at quarterback, but the 23-year-old had a tough evening as the Dolphins defense racked up eight sacks against him.

While Book struggled — he completed 12 of 20 passes and threw two interceptions — Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle’s rookie season goes from strength to strength.

With 10 receptions in Monday’s game, Waddles is now on 96 catches this season and just five shy of the all-time rookie record of 101 — set by Anquan Boldin in 2003 with the Arizona Cardinals.

“As far as importance, I wouldn’t say it’s like something I got my mind focused on,” Waddle told the NFL website, when asked about Boldin’s record. “I’m all for it as long as it comes with some wins. It would obviously be pretty cool, cause NFL is a special league so anything in this league to have a record in is always big.”

Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after catching a pass during the first quarter.
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Waddle has also weighed in with five touchdowns this season, including one in Monday’s game.

An Alabama product, Waddle was selected sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Dolphins and has struck up a great playing relationship with former college teammate Tua Tagovailoa.

“I’m not a genie, so I’m not gonna say that I did foresee that in Jaylen’s future,” said Tagovailoao of Waddle’s start to life in the NFL.

“I knew that he had a lot of potential, of course, just being able to play with him at Alabama … and leading up into training camp, he’s done a really good job.

“You can just see his development within his understanding of coverages, his understanding of getting open fast against man coverage and then blitz-man, and so forth. I think he’s done a great job for us.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book (16) hands off to New Orleans Saints fullback Adam Prentice (46) in his own endzone during second half action.
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As well as Waddle’s touchdown, Miami’s points came from a 28-yard pick-six from Nik Needham and two field goals from Jason Sanders.

The National Football League had 96 of its players test positive for Covid-19 on Monday, according to the league.

With an additional 10 positive tests among players over the weekend, a total of 106 players have been placed on the league’s Reserve/Covid-19 list since Christmas.

Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.