Patriots & Colts Remind Miami Dolphins Fans Of Mediocrity


The New England Patriots will square off at home tonight against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. A game the Miami Dolphins have seen since they lost to the Buffalo Bills in 1992. Yes it’s been that long since Miami advance past the divisional rounds of the post-season. The game today is a stark reminder to fans just how far they are from experiencing a game that could put them in the Super Bowl.

Mediocrity has crept into the Dolphins history books where 7-9’s, 8-8’s, and 6-10’s are normal. Sure in 2008 the Dolphins shocked the NFL when they won the division behind the Wild Cat formation but you have to go back further for a division title that wasn’t an asterisk to a gimmick scheme in a year that the Patriots lost Tom Brady for the season. Sorry, but that is a reality. In 2000 the Dolphins played in and lost in the division round.

The Patriots on the other hand have since 2000 have won three Super Bowls, lost two Super Bowls, and lost three conference championship games including the last two in 2012 and 2013. Many will point to Tom Brady as the difference between the Patriots being average or being what they are but the Patriots are very well coached and they play up to their expected levels and not down. It’s something that the Dolphins can’t seem to get right.

Indianapolis is looking at its first conference championship under new quarterback Andrew Luck which only stands to highlight the mistakes the Dolphins have made trying to find a quarterback. In Indianapolis, Luck has made fans forget about Peyton Manning while in Miami fans are still talking about whether or not Ryan Tannehill can be a franchise quarterback. It makes the fact worse by the knowledge that 3rd round pick Russell Wilson is making his 2nd appearance in the NFL Championship game after a year removed from a Super Bowl victory.

The Dolphins are mired in the same mediocrity that they have had for the last two decades. The team is confident that the core of players they have today is enough to build a winning franchise into. Stephen Ross believes that the team is heading in the right direction despite two consecutive 8-8 finishes and despite many question marks within his coaching staff and player personnel.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell where the Dolphins are heading. Are they building something, nothing, or simply going through the motions. Is Joe Philbin a coach who sees this team moving forward quickly with a couple of key additions or does he view this as a process to achieve something better in what would likely be long term as opposed to short term? From the bleachers nothing seems to hint one direction or another.

One thing that is certain is despite being able to play in the regular season with very good football teams, the Dolphins are still a long way from becoming an elite playoff team. Of course they need to make the playoffs first.