Predisposed early on as a rebuilding project searching for an identity, the Miami Dolphins have been sending a message over the last 3-4 weeks to the NFL - don’t believe the hype! Having suddenly strung a few wins together and inserted themselves into the post season discussion, it is clear that momentum is building for Miami! While it’s maybe wise to refrain from putting too much into this active win streak, at the very least its a great time to take stock in the team Steve Ross and company have fielded this year.
Coach Philbin will stress that there remains “much work to do” but clearly this team is finally headed in the right direction. One thing that can’t be disputed is the palpable momentum this team continues to build week after week. Each win is clear evidence of the ongoing work being put in by this team as it joins a short list of “undesireable opponents” for league foes.
November is ”thinning of the heard” time in the NFL, with contenders fighting through injuries and finding ways to win. To ensure December is meaningful for Miami, it starts with a respectable opponent also sitting at 4-3 with ambitions for air time in January.
The Indianapolis Colts have had their share of hard fought close games. Finding a way to pull out a win in OT in Nashville makes these Colts equally compelling and sets up a very meaningful match with Miami this Sunday. As the Colts try to keep pace with the Texans, a win for Miami moves them into a share of the division lead with the Patriots, setting up an AFC East showdown in early December of monstrous proportions.
I think we can all agree on this; the 2012 Miami Dolphins are exceeding expectations everywhere, with the exception of their own locker room. Credit that confidence, along with some exceptional coaching for what we’re seeing now and will surely continue to see as the season continues to unfold. What’s most remarkable about this particular squad is the commitment they clearly have to one another. That chemistry is rare, typically reserved for championship teams void of individual notoriety. Clearly a new leader has emerged in Ryan Tannehill but it’s the unselfish nature of this team that will ultimately determine playing time in January.
With nine regular season games remaining, it’s wise to temper enthusiasm and there is always room for improvement. As evidenced following the recent statement made in the Meadowlands, the injury bug also looms large as the season wears on. Miami waits for word on their star rookie quarterback’s injury, though solid play from backup Matt Moore has eased concerns of a downturn from recent success.
Despite ongoing challenges and a stiffening schedule over the last half of the regular season, all signs point to a reason for optimism in South Florida. With momentum building from a three-game winning streak, the league and its fans now know what we’ve known all along – the Miami Dolphins are back!