For the first time since 2016, the Miami Dolphins are 10-5.
The Miami Dolphins are 10-5 but this is not the same team that last went 10-5 and Dolphins fans should be excited about the future.
When the Miami Dolphins last reached double-digits in their win column, Adam Gase took an improbable team in his first season as a head coach in the NFL to the playoffs. His team had Ryan Tannehill at quarterback until his injury against the Cardinals. They finished the year with Matt Moore.
That incredible season was supposed to be a sign of the future. Miami had their head coach and he would know how to maximize Ryan Tannehill’s talent. That all fell apart the next year and Adam Gase began to show who he really was and after he was fired, Dolphins fans realized that 2016 was nothing more than luck.
Miami imploded the roster in 2019. They gutted the salary cap, purged the veterans, and traded away talent like they were having a yard sale. They had a rookie head coach and a slew of names no one had heard of. Players that would not be playing in the NFL had it not been for the Dolphins purge.
Something happened last year though. The Dolphins started as expected but by the end of the year, the Dolphins were starting to find ways to win. They started executing the plays and schemes that they had been taught all year. They started to see that Brian Flores was putting them in a position to win.
Miami finished last year winning five of nine games and while they never had a shot at the post-season, Dolphins fans got a glimpse of what might be on the horizon.
2020 has been a different year entirely. Not just for football. Still, the Dolphins took to the field and started 1-3 but in those three losses, there was something, different. They lost to the Patriots in Foxboro by 10. They lost to the eventual AFC East champion Bills in week two by three and were in a position to beat Seattle late in the 4th quarter before it fell apart.
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Then the wheels were attached back to the cart. The Dolphins would go on a five-game winning streak and would win nine of their next 11 games setting up a “win and you’re in” showdown against the Bills in week 17.
This is a Dolphins team that fans can be proud of regardless of whether the playoffs are achieved or not. There is something special about this group and more importantly about their coach. Brian Flores has no ego to bruise and he doesn’t pretend to be the smartest man in the building. He knows football but more importantly, he knows how to treat his men, his players. And he has their backs.
The Dolphins have had three seasons in the last 13 years where they posted double-digit win totals. In 2008, they made the post-season with an 11-5 record. The Wild Cat season.
Prior to 2008, the Dolphins’ last 10 win season was back in 2003. What is even more unimpressive is the fact that since 2003, the Dolphins have had only five winning seasons.
Miami is 10-5 and by all accounts, this should be the new normal for the Dolphins as the future looks very good. Not because they are 10-5 but because they have internal expectations. The players don’t want to let their coaches down and they don’t want to let each other down. The Miami Dolphins have a culture and that culture could be what fans have been waiting for the last two decades.