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Zach Sieler impresses the Dolphins locker room with Pro Bowl potential following a 31-16 win against the Giants

MIAMI GARDENS — A sweat-drenched Zach Sieler made his way into the Dolphins locker room on Sunday to high spirits restored after Miami’s 31-16 defeat of the Latest York Giants.

Fellow Miami defensive tackle Raekwon Davis gave his next-door locker neighbor a giant smile and a handshake:

“That’s a Pro Bowler right there.”

Sieler responded with a hug, shaking his head in disbelief.

Should you know his journey, it’s hard to fathom the 28-year-old’s name being in a Pro Bowl conversation. He arrived to Miami in 2019, freshly cut from the Baltimore Ravens and living in an RV.

Now, he’s a father-to-be with a three-year contract for $30.7 million as of August — and his teammates couldn’t be happier.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) and defensive tackle Zach Sieler (92) celebrate a sack against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 8, 2023.

“Hell yeah. He’s balling out,” said defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.

On course to exceed his career-best 3.5 sacks in 2020 and 2022, Sieler led the team with two sacks against the Giants, now carrying three heading into Week 6.

“I’m happy with him — how far he’s come. We just need him to maintain going,” Ogbah grinned. “He’s all the time been an ideal teammate — the work ethic he has, he just makes people higher.”

“They are saying that sort of stuff on a regular basis,” Sieler said. “It means quite a bit coming from those guys.”

“It’s just awesome given where we got here from.”

Bouncing back from Buffalo

Allowing 48 points to the Bills, Week 4 in Buffalo was a wake-up call for Miami’s defense.

Totaling seven tackles, three for loss, and three quarterback hits on Sunday, Sieler answered. So did Miami’s entire defense, which denied the Giants an offensive touchdown on Sunday.

“It feels good. We do must get more turnovers though,” Sieler said.

Most significantly, they managed an unscathed outing without distinguished pass rusher Jaelan Phillips, who also was absent from the 48-20 loss to the Bills.

“We made the corrections on Monday, went in and learned from that,” Sieler said. “It doesn’t matter what happened last week.”

Dolphins defense by the numbers

Nine players combined to post a season-high 14 QB hits on Giants starter Daniel Jones. As for Jones’ offensive line, three players exited the sport, egos and bodies bruised by Miami’s physicality.

More:Tua Tagovailoa calls his own play and throws TD pass to Tyreek Hill in Dolphins’ win

For Tua Tagovailoa, Miami’s O-line gave up a single sack and two quarterback hits.

The Dolphins’ 7 sack-outing against the Giants tied for Ninth-most in team history. Jerome Baker, who added eight tackles and two QB hits, split 1.5 sacks with Ogbah.

Knowing the Dolphins’ potential on defense despite criticism through the early a part of this season, in the course of the 2022 season and in recent times, Ogbah said “last week wasn’t us.”

“We had to assist the offense out — just go on the market and execute our game plan,” Ogbah said. “I’m blissful all of us just got here together and discovered what we were battling.”

With 12:45 left within the fourth quarter, a sack by Andrew Van Ginkel — Miami’s seventh of the day — saw Jones leave the sector for the day.

More:Secret is out as De’Von Achane is real thing for Miami Dolphins | Habib

The Giants only scored on a 102-yard interception return by strong safety Jason Pinnock and three field goals — 49, 37, 51 yards — by Graham Gano.

“Obviously, you surrender 48 points, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth so we got here together as a defense and told one another we needed to play on, play as a team,” Van Ginkel said.

“When you’ll be able to come out and put pressure on the quarterback, got DBs playing aggressive to actually shut down receivers, you already know that is what it’s all about.”

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