Many titles can be used to describe the Miami Dolphins at this point in the season. They have been labeled a “spoiler” team as well as inconsistent and conservative. However, the one thing that cannot be taken away from this year’s Miami Dolphins is the heart they have showed in the face of adversity. Only three teams in NFL history have ever gone from 0-7 to a three game winning streak. None of those teams have had the playoffs on their mind at 3-7 as Miami did. Four games this season have been decided by a field goal or less in which we lost in the final minutes. Many people look at this 4-8 team seeing a lost cause, a team that ruined its chances at Andrew Luck, and has no shot at the playoffs. I look at this 4-8 Miami team seeing a team that was one or two plays away from being 7-5 or 8-4. This article is not about what if’s, but about bringing a team that never gives up and focusing that Miami team under a magnifying glass. In my opinion, I am glad to be the fan of a team that refuses to roll over and let teams walk all over them on their way to a first round pick. This team is clearly playing for their coach.
Heart is a characteristic that is hard to find on teams that are below .500. Players like Karlos Dansby dont usual come out and state that their team are still playing like a playoff bound team, even if Miami has a 4-8 record. That takes stones, or better yet heart and faith in your coach and team. Rolling over and quitting is much easier to do than to play through adversity and keep on a path towards winning while keeping that atmosphere in the locker room and on the field. And by the way, we are still in the playoff hunt, I mean, sure we need everyone in the AFC to lose the rest of their games, but we have not been eliminated yet (fingers crossed). For this “heart” that Miami is showing this year, the credit goes to the coaching staff. You may not agree, but we as fans give Coach Tony Sparano enough grief and heartache, let’s give credit where credit is due. Coach Sparano has revamped his workouts and practices while also refusing to accept his fate and walk off the field. I overheard Dan Dierdorf saying that the Dolphins have not been in pads in over a month during Sundays broadcast of the game. That is something that Sparano has never done before and appears to be working and shows he is not done learning yet either.
If there is one positive we should take from this season, it is how Miami is starting to gel together as a team. The Dolphins have outscored their opponents 139-54 since week 9 and that is due to a near flawless performance by the offense. Matt Moore has looked like a professional QB, not the college backup we are used to seeing as Dolphins fans. The Dallas Cowboys that game we lost was very winnable and was lost due to the fact Sparano decided to go back to conservative football. But up until the last drive of that game, we had the lead and played well. I get that we are far from perfect, and may be one or two players away from a playoff spot, but the Cowboys are one of the top 5 teams In the NFC this year and we lost by a point.
Keep this in the back of your head if you were or are on the “Suck for Luck” train. Ready? Only one QB was better than Matt Moore in the month of November, and that was Aaron Rodgers. Is he perfect, no. But Moore shows promise, much more than Chad Henne has up to this point. Mark my words, Moore has earned himself a spot on this team next year. We still need to draft a QB for the future, but Moore makes decisions that other QB’s Miami has had over the last decade have failed to notice. He looks comfortable, calm, poise, and looks like a leader in the huddle. Most of all, he has heart.
Till next time, Go Fins!!!