Merry Christmas Eve!
As we head into the final week, the Miami Dolphins are still very much alive in the playoff push, even though it may not feel like it after their meltdown and momentum-killing loss in Buffalo a few days ago. It would be much easier on my mental and physical health to just throw in the towel on this team and hope for the worst this weekend. That being said, Week 17 is a new week and presents a new opportunity for this team to finish their season on a high note against their division rival the New York Jets, and could possibly end in a miraculous playoff birth. Unfortunately, Miami no longer controls their own destiny. Just like the children who will wish for big presents with their names on them, Dolphins fans will be wishing and hoping for a Miami victory and some help. I for one will be wishing with every ounce of hope too. Here is my Miami Dolphins holiday wish list.
1. A Miami Dolphins victory over the New York Jets.
I don’t simply want Miami to win this game to stay alive in the playoff race. A win means a 9-7 season record and Miami’s first winning season in five years. Plus, a win means a season sweep over arguably the Dolphins’ biggest rival. There is not a team I hate to lose to more than the New York Jets, and I could not bear to see the look of satisfaction on Rex Ryan’s face if he manages to knock the Dolphins out of the playoff race for good. A win would also end this roller coaster season on a more positive note.
2. A Baltimore Ravens loss or a San Diego Chargers victory.
If the Dolphins do take care of business at home against the Jets, then they would need one of the above scenarios to happen in order to sneak into the AFC Playoffs as the sixth seed. I understand there are other scenarios that would also result in a ‘Fins playoff birth, but these two are the most simply. Both of these options are extremely possible, as the Cincinnati Bengals are 7-0 at home this season and beat the Ravens earlier in the season 20-17. The Chargers are perhaps the NFL’s hottest team right now, and beat the Kansas City Chiefs earlier in the season on the road in an offensive shootout. Miami luckily only needs one of these outcomes to unfold. It could happen, and I honestly believe at least one of them will.
3. A new Offensive Coordinator at season’s end.
If it were me, I wouldn’t even wait until season’s end. Heck, Sunday’s outcome against the Jets is like playing a slot machine, as we have no idea if Mike Sherman’s concrete game plan will work or not. Regardless of if Miami makes the playoffs or not, I am hoping and praying that Stephen Ross will not bring back Mike Sherman. He is a cancer to this team and has cost this team more than a few games, games that should have sealed a Miami playoff birth by now, if not the division. I am still hoping for the best this weekend in terms of a Dolphins playoff birth, but if Miami does indeed lose to the Jets as a result of a poor offensive game plan, it will just strengthen my hope that Sherman is sent packing this off season.
If the Miami Dolphins are still playing this January, my holiday season will have been a success. There is nothing I enjoy more than the NFL playoffs, and even if the ‘Fins are bounced from the playoffs in the first round, it would be great to see them take the field in a game with those kind of stakes. As for the third item on my list, it is not merely a wish. I believe it is a necessity for this team and organization if they want to move forward. The NFL we see today is all about flexibility and adaptation. A game plan that works one week is more than likely not going to work the next week against a different team. The best teams in this league (take for example the Patriots) know that, and so do their offensive coordinators. Miami needs to fire Sherman and join the best of the league.
I would like to wish all fans of Dolphins Nation a safe and Happy Holiday Season!