Jermon Bushrod, Isa Abdul-Quddus among Dolphins' unsung heroes

Do Dolphins have what it takes to make playoffs? (1:31)

The Nacion ESPN crew is confident the Dolphins will get over the hump and reach the playoffs. (1:31)

The Miami Dolphins (6-4) are one of the hottest teams in the NFL as winners of five straight. The team is now in the thick of the AFC playoff race and has a favorable schedule down the stretch.

But with every good team comes unexpected standouts. Here are four unsung heroes who are giving the Dolphins a boost this season:

No. 1: G Jermon Bushrod

2016 stats: 10 starts

Analysis: Bushrod was a wild card when Miami signed him in the offseason. He was a favorite of Dolphins head coach Adam Gase from their time last season in Chicago. But Bushrod was coming off an injury, and Miami's coaches wanted him to play a new position at right guard. It wasn't until training camp that Bushrod was healthy enough to show what he can do. After that point he thrived and won the starting job at right guard over Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, who both were released. Bushrod's run blocking for tailback Jay Ajayi has been stellar and he's provided a steady veteran presence.

No. 2: S Isa Abdul-Quddus

2016 stats: 52 tackles, two interceptions

Analysis: Abdul-Quddus was an under-the-radar free-agent signing for Miami this offseason. He was a part-time starter with Detroit who was getting his first chance to be a full-time starter this season. Abdul-Quddus has been solid as the last line of defense and is second on the team in tackles. He also hasn't made many mistakes in coverage. Abdul-Quddus even took on a leadership role in the secondary once Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones (shoulder) went down.

No. 3: RB Damian Williams

2016 stats: 95 rushing yards, 12 receptions, five total touchdowns

Analysis: Williams, to borrow a baseball term, has been a great utility player for the Dolphins. He's helped Miami in the running and passing game. He's good around the goal line with three rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. Williams also plays on several special teams units and has two tackles. Williams doesn't get his number called a lot. But he takes advantage of every opportunity.

No. 4: P Matt Darr

2016 stats: 46.3 average, 18 punts inside 20-yard line

Analysis: Darr is following up a solid rookie season with a solid Year 2. There have been plenty of times when he has bailed Miami out of bad spots and poor field position. For example, Darr punted 10 times in Sunday's win against the Rams. Darr's dropped punt this month was his worst play of the season -- and his career -- but that's been his only major hiccup this season.