After starting off the season at 3-0 with wins over the Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons, the Miami Dolphins were one of the hottest and most exciting young teams in the National Football League. Many people believed that the Dolphins would potentially be able to rival the New England Patriots in the AFC East this year. Unfortunately, that has not been the case as the Dolphins have been going through a huge rough patch.
Apart from the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito issue, the Dolphins have lost close game after close game and as a result, they are sitting at 5-5 instead of 9-1. Outside of the beat down the Dolphins suffered in New Orleans, they have been in every single game this season. Three of their losses have come by 3 points or less and they led the Patriots by a couple of touchdowns at halftime before giving the game up.
But despite all of the close losses that the Dolphins have suffered this season, they still are finding themselves right in the thick of things in the AFC Wild Card race. Yesterday was a big day for Miami. Not only were they able to pick up a win, but the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and obviously the San Diego Chargers lost. With all of these teams being right in the middle of this Wild Card race it was imperative that the Dolphins came out yesterday with their minds completely focused on football. They were able to do that and as a result they won a very important game.
Now, the game wasn’t the best one by Dolphins standards. There were still some obvious things that they need to work on. One of the biggest things is the on field relationship between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace. A great example of this was when Ryan Tannehill completely underthrew Wallace down the sideline on what would have been a sure touchdown. Those are the throws that Tannehill needs to consistently make to Wallace in order to increase the Dolphins chances of being successful. Another thing that they need to work on is their run defense. In the past three games, the Dolphins have allowed a total of 457 rushing yards which averages out to just over 152 per game. That is a number that must improve as the team continues to try and fight for the remaining Wild Card spot.
Again, it wasn’t their best performance, but hey, a win is a win and in the NFL you will take whatever it is that is given to you. Now, I am not saying yesterday’s win was given to Miami, because it wasn’t. The defense and offensive line really stepped up when they needed to. The defense was able to sack Philip Rivers multiple times in the fourth quarter, while the make shift offensive line did fairly well in terms of protection. The Chargers, however, had a lot of bad penalties that ultimately cost them the football game. Props to Miami though. They were able to make the most of their opportunities and were really able to take advantage of the silly mistakes made by San Diego.
So with just six games remaining (four of which are divisional games), the Dolphins must continue to win the big games. It sounds cliché and that’s because it is. It doesn’t matter how they win games. Do enough to get into the postseason and then go from there. The Dolphins now control their own destiny in terms of getting into the playoffs. They get to face the New York Jets twice in the matter of weeks. As well all know, the Jet’s not only are sitting in the second Wild Card spot, but they also hold the tie-breaker over Miami. I don’t think I have to stress how important stretch games are going to be, especially the ones against the Jets. Both of those games are going to have serious playoffs implications in the AFC.
My question for you guys is simple. Do you think the Dolphins making the playoffs is a reality or do you think yesterday’s win was just a fluke? I am interested in hearing your opinions. Leave your comments down below and hopefully we can all have a healthy discussion regarding the state of the Miami Dolphins organization!
Thanks for Reading!