Winning or losing isn’t nearly as important to the Dolphins as how they do it. Most experts’ pre-season predictions have already been blown out of the water after the Dolphins won their 2nd or 3rd game. The problem over the last few weeks has not been that they are losing; the problem has been how they are doing it. They just don’t look like the same team they were after the bye week against the Jets.
Watching the Dolphins play the 49ers last weekend it immediately hit me that I should write an article highlighting a truly great spot of the Dolphins- their front seven, specifically the run defense. I was thinking this right around the time the 49ers were 2nd and 20 and decided to dump the ball off short to Frank Gore. Although it wasn’t a handoff it was close enough that my plans ultimately sank as Gore ran through every tackler the Dolphins had to offer and only stopped after being constructively tackled by his own teammate.
Each game there is no telling which area of the team will excel and which area will falter. We have seen the run game go crazy with Reggie Bush looking like Arian Foster and other times he looks like Laurence Maroney. The defense is generally the bright spot until you think of the Colts game or Colin Kaepernick running untouched for 50 yards at the most crucial time of the game.
Ryan Tannehill has at times looked like the future leader of the Dolphins cutting down pass defenses and placing the ball where some people just couldn’t. Then we have seen games where we quickly need to remember he is only a rookie and may need some time to progress. To say his season has been disappointing would be a mistake, mainly because we don’t have anything to compare it to.
Joe Philbin has done a good job as far as we can tell. He is beginning to set the tone in Miami and just needs the players to bite. If he can get his team to follow his lead then he will be very successful, but that is easier said than done. If the team does not want to follow Philbin into battle the way he instructs than Jeff Ireland needs to lend him a hand and set an example. The Chad Johnson situation was hopefully the first of many.
With a little luck and some hard work the Dolphins SHOULD finish 7-9. It is not a long shot to think they can beat the Jaguars and Bills, the Pats game will depend mainly on how competitive Bill Belichick feels before the playoffs start.
This team still needs some work. The draft is going to be crucial to try and find the missing parts needed to make a complete team. Unfortunately this isn’t the best year to accomplish this task. The draft class entering this spring is not the most fortuitous. The Dolphins need to hope they can find that diamond in the rough that each draft generally holds. They need that 3rd or 4th round wide receiver that people are sleeping on that turns out to be a game changer.