The Miami Dolphins are becoming a hotly debated playoff team in 2022 but fans should be cautiously optimistic for a successful season. Remember, these are the Miami Dolphins.
This year has not provided a lot of reason to believe that what we have seen on the field so far is anything but positive. The week-to-week negativity has all but dried up, replaced with positive vibes and accolades. But we all know that the media is only looking for a reason to knock this team back down.
Today, the Dolphins will host the Cleveland Browns and only a victory will keep the hype-train rolling. A loss today and the Dolphins will be put back under the microscope and dissected once again.
Should Dolphins fans feel differently? Should Miami realize that a loss is only a loss and doesn’t change what we can imagine for the 2022 season? A lot of that depends on how they lose. If Miami’s offense puts up 40 points and loses because the defense can’t stop the Browns, then maybe our opinion shouldn’t change but we should still be cautiously optimistic for how the entire season unfolds, win or lose today.
The real reason is simple. Miami Dolphins fans have been through this all before.
The last 22 years have not been good for the Dolphins. Far from it and enough not to rehash the darkest seasons of the franchise’s history. But what we should look more towards is the promise of a better future and that starts a long time ago.
We need to go back to 2008. The Dolphins hired Bill Parcells to run the franchise and he hired Tony Sparano to coach the team. Miami spent that season exploding offensively on the arm of Chad Pennington and the Wild Cat formation. Indeed, a playoff appearance and an 11-win season, had Miami fans looking toward the future with youthful exuberance.
It wasn’t meant to be. The Wild Cat was figured out and the Dolphins executives couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Wayne Huizenga sold the rest of his team to Stephen Ross and Miami wouldn’t finish at .500 until 2013. They wouldn’t finish with a record above .500 until 2016 spanning two head coaches and two interim head coaches.
In 2016 it appeared the corner was turning. Joe Philbin was gone, Jeff Ireland was gone, and the Dolphins were turning to a young up-and-coming offensive-minded head coach. Adam Gase was supposed to be the next “genius” NFL guru. He led the Dolphins to a 10-6 record in his first season and took Miami to their first playoff appearance since 2008. In 2017, the Dolphins lost Ryan Tannehill and substituted Jay Cutler. It was a disaster.
Gase quickly fell out of favor with the fans and his owner. In 2019 enough was enough and the promise of a new Miami Dolphins was out the window.
Brian Flores started differently. The team was gutted but in year two, Flores led the team to 10 wins and in year 3, the first back-to-back winning seasons since the 2001 and 2002 seasons under Dave Wannstedt. It appeared the rebuild was on track. But again, internal issues killed the team and Flores was fired.
Now, it is in Mike McDaniel’s hands. Will his young mind continue to develop the Dolphins into a powerful offense that can go toe-to-toe with anyone or will teams figure out how to beat him? Can these Miami Dolphins develop into what fans really want? A consistent year-to-year contender for the post-season and even the Super Bowl?
We have been here before. We have asked these same questions before. We have said, before, “this team feels different!” And so does this one.
Miami fans should be absolutely ecstatic over what is going on in Miami this year but that enthusiasm should come with caution because as we all know, the Dolphins can just as easily rip our hearts out when we take our guard down…but you know what? This team just feels different!