The Miami Dolphins hot 8-3 start to the season seems to be crashing down over the last two weeks. But that does not mean this season is a wash just yet.
It has been a tough two weeks for the Dolphins who are now coming off of back-to-back losses in California to the 49ers and Chargers. It really isn’t about that the Dolphins lost these games, it’s more so the fashion of how they lost these games.
The explosive offense that we have seen for most of the season has been non-existent the past two weeks, and that has started to cause some concern. It could be a number of things from Tua Tagovailoa, the injuries, the bad offensive line play, or even Mike McDaniel’s play calling.But in reality, it might be a little early to start to be concerned about this team.
The real problem may be is that as fans, we saw what this team could do at full strength and they hit their stride. It made all of our expectations go up mid-season even if we did not realize it in the moment. Before the season started, a 10-7 or 11-6 season from the Dolphins was a pretty good expectation, and that is what they are back on track for.
It is now being shown that winning in the NFL is not easy. Let’s also not forget that this is just Mike McDaniel’s first full year as a head coach, so even he is still learning as this season goes along.
But this season is far from over if you are the Dolphins. They are dealing with some injuries right now that they have not had to deal with yet this season. Left Tackle Terron Armstead is the perfect example here, as you can tell how much the offensive line has missed him fully healthy the last couple of weeks.
You can also look at Tyreek Hill as an example for this, as he was unable to be out there for the Dolphins final offensive drive in hurry up offense because of his left ankle injury.
But it’s just not injuries. Opposing defenses are figuring out the Dolphins attack and now is the time where we are going to find out how good of an adjuster and play-caller Mike McDaniel is really soon.
Part of the problem in Sunday’s game against the Chargers was that it seemed like the Dolphins ran vertical routes far too often and it just was not working. Rarely any screens, check downs, or short throws were called and that is just a recipe for disaster.
The Dolphins are now 8-5 on the season heading into the final four weeks of the season, and they have a very tough stretch to finish. It doesn’t get any easier with traveling to Buffalo on Saturday night to take on the Bills.
The Dolphins then host the Green Bay Packers at home on Christmas Day, and they finish the season on the road at New England Patriots, while hosting the New York Jets at home in week 18.
For the time being, the Dolphins are still alive for the AFC East title but it’s highly unlikely unless they somehow win in the snow.
As for the Wild Card, the Dolphins are in the sixth spot right now and should be able to comfortably hold it if they win the games they’re supposed to. Winning against the Packers at home has to be done if you are a true playoff team.
But the true fight will be the final two games against the Patriots and Jets. Right now, both New England and the Jets are 7-6 and tied for the final playoff spot, just one game out of the Dolphins.
If the Dolphins want to make the playoffs, they may have to go 2-2 at minimum in these next four games. But if they do get in and are able to get healthy, then watch out. We all saw what this Dolphins team is capable of.