The Miami Dolphins players are at home watching football this weekend and their executives are pouring over head coaching candidates. They are not in the playoffs.
They came so very close but in reality, the Dolphins were not all that close to making the post season. If we look at the fact that they held the 7th seed at one point, we should also realize that it was a fortuitous as you could get. The Dolphins 8-1 finish to the season was almost flawless but the one “flaw” cost them the playoffs. That would most certainly seem “close”.
Looking back on three games this season that Miami should have won, the Raiders, Jaguars, and Falcons, any one of them could have gone in Miami’s favor. If one of them had, Miami might very well be in the playoffs. If the Dolphins won all three of those, they very well may be sitting at home right now waiting to see who they play next week. That too would make it sound pretty close.
The reality is, this Dolphins team wasn’t close. There were too many problems that fans couldn’t see. Issues between Flores and his coaches, between Flores and Chris Grier, issues between Flores and Tua Tagovailoa. There were offensive line problems, offensive playbook problems, running game problems.
Yes, the Dolphins almost made the postseason but as easily as they could have won three of those games they lost, they just as easily could have lost several others.
Week one against the Patriots, Miami wins by one point because of Xavien Howard turnover. Week 9 the Dolphins host the Texans and it was far too close ending in 17-9 but many thought this was a game that Miami almost lost and they came close to giving up the game. Both games against the Jets were closer than they should have been and Miami wasn’t playing good football. The Saints took a big loss with half of their team on COVID.
The point is that we see a 7 game winning streak and think this team was good but were they? The offense was Jaylen Waddle for most of the 2nd half of the season. The defense kept the Dolphins in games and had to hold on to leads because the offense wasn’t producing.
During the 8 games Miami won in the second half of the season, Miami scored more than 30 points three times but that too is a better than it appears. They scored 33 against the Panthers and 31 against the Jets. In their final week holding a slim 27-24 lead over NE, the Dolphins scored on the final play when the Patriots turned the ball over at the end zone.
Aside from those three games, Miami managed to score, 17 and 24 came against the Jets, 20 against the Giants , 22 against the Ravens, 20 against the Saints, and three against the Titans that knocked them out. Miami was close but were they as close as we thought? The only teams they faced down the stretch with winning records were the Titans and Patriots.