The Miami Dolphins are taking on the Bengals on Sunday and Mike McDaniel is looking to extend his winning record against Super Bowl coaches.
It’s hard to believe that the Miami Dolphins’ rookie head coach has already beaten Super Bowl coaches Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh. He has also beaten the AFC East champion Bills coach Sean McDermott.
Miami is riding a wave of spectacular finished in the last two weeks. They have yet to fully control a game from start to finish but the Patriots’ opening weekend was close. This week, they might need to run the table from start to finish.
A win will keep the Dolphins undefeated obviously but as McDaniel said in his post-game speech, they didn’t enter the season looking to be 3-0 or for that matter 4-0. It’s a long season and they are trying to do a lot more.
Miami’s first 3-0 start was the undefeated season of 72.
There is some precedence here, however. The last time Miami won their first four games was way back in 1995. That season they beat the Jets, Patriots, and Steelers to start 3-0 before facing the Bengals in week four, in Cincinnati on October 1st. Miami had a bye week in week four of that season so they actually faced the Bengals in week five of that season. Back then, the NFL started the first weekend of September.
McDaniel will be the first coach to start his career 4-0 in Miami and only Don Shula has ever started a season with four straight wins.
In a way, it would be ironic for McDaniel to win his fourth game. The 1995 season was Don Shula’s last as an NFL head coach. It would be similar to a passing of the torch so to speak and for it to come in a season that is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Shula’s greatest season, that’s pretty special to.
The Dolphins can win on Thursday but it isn’t going to be easy. Are the stars aligned for the Dolphins to continue this magical beginning? We will find out in two days.