The Miami Dolphins head into a huge game against the 49ers on Sunday and there is one question that still remains unanswered. The next three weeks will answer it.
Are these Miami Dolphins truly legitimate Super Bowl contenders?
It is easy to get wrapped up in a five-game winning streak, or a three-game streak to start the season. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t lost a game this year that he has finished or was benched in a blowout.
There are real questions about whether or not we are seeing something truly remarkable or if this team will rip our hearts out like so many times before. Yes, this team is, indeed, “different” but how different we will soon find out.
Miami’s five-game winning streak can’t be dismissed but we have to realize, they didn’t play the Bills, 49ers, or Chargers in that stretch.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – 4 wins
- Detriot Lions – 4 wins
- Chicago Bears – 3 wins
- Cleveland Browns – 4 wins
- Houston Texans – 1 win
The Dolphins have scored 31 points against the Lions, 35 against the Bears, 39 against the Browns, and 30 against the Texans. Impressive? Yes, of course.
Miami has earned respect around the NFL and Tua Tagovailoa is leading many NFL categories. They have an offense that is one of the best over the team’s last 20 seasons and it’s a unit that is built for the next several years with a few tweaks here and there.
The Dolphins have a quarterback in the MVP chatter and a head coach who is earning the same conversation for coach of the year. But the Miami Dolphins haven’t won anything at all yet. Nothing. Not the AFC East, not the AFC, not the Super Bowl and they have not beaten the 49ers, Chargers, or Bills on the road.
How good are these Dolphins? We are about to find out. The next three games are not going to be easy. Looking at this team, we can think back to the Bills in Miami, the Ravens’ comeback win, and the opening weekend against the Patriots. The Patriots are not very good, the Bills wilted in the South Florida heat, and the Ravens’ defense gave up. Those are the narratives Miami has had to deal with.
On the other hand, Miami lost to the Bengals, Jets, and Vikings. Three teams in the playoff hunt and likely to make the postseason. The Bengals’ win came after Tua was slammed to the ground and knocked out. The Jets’ loss came with no Tua and Teddy Bridgewater was pulled from the game after one offensive play. Against the Vikings? Miami started Skylar Thompson, who also left the game in the second half with a thumb injury.
The narrative can go both ways.
Now, we find out if any of the previous narratives are accurate. Winning on the road is never easy especially when three consecutive road games are on the schedule. Add two of those coming across the country and it makes it harder.
If Miami can come away with two wins over the next three weeks, we can say that the Dolphins are legitimate. Put everything else away, sit back and realize, that this team, is without question, different.
There is a lot of football left in this season but for the Dolphins, the rest of the season starts on Sunday.