The Miami Dolphins are the worst team heading into the NFL playoffs on the AFC side of the league. That is if you believe the media.
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Securing their first playoff appearance since 2008 on Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Denver Broncos, the Dolphins, at 10-6 are getting about as much respect as the Cleveland Browns. Miami could still enter the playoffs at 11-5 and have the 5th seed. And still it doesn’t matter.
Most will point their fingers at the opponents that the Dolphins have beaten. Then shake their head and summarily dismiss what Miami has accomplished. They beat the Jets twice…who have won four games. Beaten the Bills who are below .500, the 49ers and Browns who are battling for the first overall pick, the Chargers who lost to the Browns, the Rams who were in contention for the number one overall pick, and the underperforming Cardinals.
In most of those games the Dolphins either could have lost or needed a come from behind win late in the 4th quarter or a game saving play to win. Then there was the one team with a winning record. The Steelers. Who Miami beat handily.
Here is the irony however. If the Dolphins win next week at home against the Patriots and the Chiefs, the current darlings of the AFC media, lose to the San Diego Chargers then the Dolphins will own the 5th seed in the AFC. Why? Because the Dolphins have a better record than the Chiefs against common opponents. In other words, the Chiefs lost one more game than the Dolphins to one of those really bad teams Miami beat.
The Dolphins have not been receiving much credibility during the season. Even their six game winning streak was dismissed as a run against bad teams. Yet here the Dolphins are a week away from playing only their 2nd post-season game since 2001. Yes, 2001 was the last time Miami played in a playoff game prior to the 2008 season.
While the Dolphins are not earning a lot of respect around the league, head coach Adam Gase is getting his name thrown into Coach of the Year consideration and later, in another article, we will tell you why he deserves it and why he won’t likely get it.
For now the Dolphins can accept the fact that they do not belong in the elite of the AFC. They can take the media at face value and accept the fact that most believe the 6th seed should go to Baltimore or Denver. They can tune out even the local media rhetoric that they overachieved against bad teams.
But guess what?
The Miami Dolphins are going to the playoffs and not only do they deserve it…they freaking earned it. They earned with every second of the clock of all 10 games and they did it as a singular unified team. Maybe that is what the media doesn’t like. There is not one singular sensational brand name that sticks out within the Dolphins organization. Not even Cam Wake or Ndamukong Suh. Miami is outside of those two, a nameless group. And where have we seen that before?