Miami Dolphins fans should cheer teams start but with caution
By Brian Miller
For the first time since 2013 the Miami Dolphins have opened the season 2-0. They went 3-0 that season and history should tell you to be cautious.
In that 2013 season fans were jumping up and down at what would be a 3-0 start in Joe Philbin’s second NFL season as a head coach. The Miami Dolphins looked good and it appeared that a corner had been turned. They finished the season 8-8. Ask Adam Gase and he will tell you that is unacceptable.
Dolphins fans have every reason to cheer especially after the doom and gloom predictions of a five win at best season. The Dolphins are three games from matching those predictions but don’t start buying your playoff tickets just yet.
While the Dolphins have risen from the depths of NFL power rankings from 31 or 32 to 15 or 17 this week every one of those “experts” will tell you that it’s because they played the Titans and the Jets. Or they put it to you this way, “they beat Blaine Gabbert and Sam Darnold”.
This week they play the 0-2 Raiders and if they win they will have beaten the 0-2 Raiders who traded their best player. Oh but New England is the following week, in Foxboro no less. That will be the real tell-tale sign.
There is no question the Dolphins have a tough schedule this year and while the Bills do not seem to pose much of a threat to anyone in the NFL this year they still play Miami hard and swept them on their way to the post-season.
Miami however has games against the Vikings and the Packers and the Patriots twice. They also face the Jaguars, Texans, and Bengals who sit at 2-0 currently. In other words, nothing comes easy for Miami and this year will not be any different.
So while it’s obvious to be cautiously optimistic the Dolphins will face the toughest portion of their schedule late and if all goes well the team should find a solid balance of consistency by the time those games appear on the foreseeable schedule.
Miami needs to the media to keep dogging them each and every week. Call the games “lucky wins” against bad teams and bad quarterbacks because if we are all not mistaken, the Dolphins are a bad team with a bad quarterback. They have been touting that all off-season.
It’s far too early to start demanding apologies from the media. Let them have their say and let that fuel Miami’s desire to succeed. The Dolphins have a lot of work to be done. They are far from perfect and the offense needs to start pouring on points rather than coming up empty.
The Dolphins however are winning.
One thing the media has correctly predicted is that things are going to get tougher for Miami. They must play the games one at a time. The Raiders first. Is it a must win? It is a game that they should win and by that reasoning, it is a must win.
Miami will face the Patriots and Bengals in two consecutive weeks on the road before returning home to face a tough Chicago Bears defense with Khalil Mack and a Lions team that should be better than what they are showing early in the season.
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It’s the Texans after that and then a Jets rematch. A trip to Green Bay will not be easy the following week. After their bye week they face the Colts in Indianapolis before a home game against the Bills and Patriots then wrapping their season with two of three on the road to Minnesota and a season ending date with the Bills. The Jaguars appear in between.
Yes the Dolphins have a tough schedule so a degree of cautious optimism should be adhered to if only not to break your spirits later. Is this a different team than it was in 2016 when they made the post-season? Yes. And the right pieces are already starting to thrive.
The offensive line is improved as is the defensive line performance. By mid-season the young linebacking duo of Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker should be better and the secondary is playing very well already.
Dolphins fans should be rejoicing and they should be cheering very loudly but like the team itself, take it one game, one week at a time. Enjoy the first two wins and cheer louder with the 3rd and then, if Miami beats the Patriots in Foxboro cheer with reckless abandon.
For what it’s worth Miami is playing well enough to beat most of those teams and when the final stretch begins, they should be that much better than they are today.