When we look around the league today we can see a few teams that were and are affected by the lockout more than others. The Miami Dolphins seem to be one of those teams. We are starting to see a new team that looks as if they have actually played in the NFL before.
Living as Dolphins fans, we are fans of each and every player. We grow excited when we see our favorite players perform, and grow discouraged when the lacking is present. This year has been a tough year for players and for fans. Right as fans begin to give up, the Miami Dolphins finally look to have washed off that lockout smell.
The defense is starting to look like a Mike Nolan defense. They are sacking, getting turnovers and hitting so hard that the Steelers are saying, “Wow!”
It might have taken a football to the face, but “the best corners in football” have finally come to life. Vontae Davis has 2 INTs in his last 3 games and Sean Smith had his first INT of the year on Thursday.
It is nice watching Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby play like, well, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby. If you add in the only player that has played well all year, Yeremiah Bell, they are making the Dolphins a painful team to play.
The Dolphins are not the Colts, it is not the caliber of the quarterback that sets the tone for the defense; it is the caliber of the defense that sets the tone for the quarterback. In the first 7 games the Dolphins looked like cockroaches that had a strobe light turned on. This new defense is on a role, playing like the defense the Dolphins had last year.
On offense the Dolphins are getting in sync and catching the ball. The offensive line is blocking and Reggie Bush is explosive. Matt Moore is making plays and doing his best not to turn the ball over.
I will give credit to Tony Soprano saying that all they needed was a win, but to be fair what else could you say in that situation?
The Cowboys game showed a lot of flashbacks to the first 7 weeks. The Dolphins were 0-4 in the Red Zone against the Cowboys, but were 8-11 in the Red Zone the previous 3 weeks. When it came to crunch time, the coaches again made the wrong calls.
So can it be that the lockout took 7 weeks to shake off? Are the Dolphins on track to be a buzz kill for all the playoff teams left to play this year? Was the Cowboys game a fluke? Does Tony Soprano’s love for the Cowboys run deeper than warming up their leftovers?
Only time will tell.
In the eighth game everything seemed to click, as if someone walked into the locker room and said, “You guys know this is American Football and not European Football, right?” Whatever it was has given people in Miami something to cheer for again. Being a Miami Dolphins fan is a constant ride on a hope train. Let us hope we never run out of track.