Five “What If” scenarios in Miami Dolphins history

Dan Marino Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Marino Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins Ryan Fitzpatrick Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Dolphins bonus “What If”: What if the Dolphins lost to the Patriots in 2019?

This particular “What If” is considered a bonus in that it didn’t help the Dolphins directly, but it may have helped change a small course of NFL history for one of their biggest rivals.

The 2019 season was a rebuilding one. It was head coach Brian Flores’ first year, and the team had sold off a heap of its parts in order to prepare for the future. The team got off to one of the worst starts in NFL history, with some analysts even saying that their poor play was “bad for the game.”

But things improved and the Dolphins weren’t as terrible as we all thought they’d be. They were 4-11 after Week 16, out of the running for the first overall pick, and 4-4 over their last eight games. But they had a date with Tom Brady and the 12-3 Patriots in New England for the final game of the year, and it was looking like a 12-loss season for Miami.

Enter: Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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In yet another legacy-cementing contest, FitzMagic and the Dolphins pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the NFL season, defeating New England 27-24 on a last-second touchdown throw to Mike Gesicki.

The loss knocked the Patriots out of the 2nd seed in the AFC Playoffs, forcing them to play a rare Wild Card Weekend contest. Instead of resting on the couch for a week, New England played host to the Titans, who proved to be too much for the home team to handle. Tennessee won 20-13.

That was the end of the Tom Brady era in New England. The Patriots never got the storybook ending that they had been searching for, and Brady was a Buccaneer shortly after the season.

The dynasty ended with a bitter taste in the mouth, thanks in large part to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins.