The loss the Dolphins endured at the hands of the Titans was abysmal to say the least. There was not one facet of the game that would lend any hope that the Dolphins will rebound and be a playoff team, but there never should have been to begin with. When the season first started aside from a few fanatical optimists not many people thought the Dolphins would come close to sniffing the playoffs.
After the Dolphins came out of the bye week and destroyed the Jets a false sense of optimism turning to realism began. People looked at this team and truly believed they could make a run for the playoffs. This was actually very similar to the Buffalo Bills last year, who showed some sparks of talent and put together a few good games, but ultimately came up short.
While taking part in a podcast last week with Jesse Agler on TheFinsiders, myself and the other two participants were asked by Jesse if by this point in the season the Dolphins had met, failed to, or exceeded our expectations of the team this year. It was a great question and I stand by my answer that they have still exceeded my original expectations.
At the beginning of the season I envisioned the Dolphins finishing at 8-8 this year. This is something that still may happen, and could also just as likely go 9-7 or 7-9. Regardless, this has still been a positive season. I never thought they would win some games so easily nor did I believe that two of their losses would be one errant field goal short of a win.
Ryan Tannehill is getting invaluable experience being under center each play. Obviously he has made some big mistakes so far, and he will continue to do so, because he is a rookie. We need to remember that Tannehill is only in his first year,we cannot expect so much from him right out of the gate. The more he plays and the more he learns, the better he will ultimately become.
The Dolphins have a real chance at this point to miss the playoffs but still finish in 2nd place in the AFC East. Obviously everybody reading this would love to see the Dolphins in the playoffs, but how could you look at them finishing 2nd in the AFC East and not be encouraged by their growth. Realistically the Dolphins are probably in a better position than most had predicted, and we should at least be grateful for that.