2023 Miami Dolphins failed to put an end to their dubious skids

Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (11) is
Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (11) is / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive season, the Miami Dolphins won their first three games. A year ago, they were on a Coney Island rollercoaster ride with their streaky play. This season, Mike McDaniel’s team rebounded from each of its first four setbacks and owned an 11-4 mark with two games to play.

The ‘Fins would not win again. They closed out the regular season by being blown out at Baltimore and then losing at home to the rival Buffalo Bills. The 21-14 setback cost Miami the AFC East title. At 11-6, they were the AFC’s No. 6 seed, but were stifled at frigid Kansas City, 26-7, in the Wild Card round.

The Dolphins entered 2023 with several noteworthy streaks that the franchise was on the wrong side of. Sadly, those streaks of futility will all carry over into 2024.

Including that 34-31 playoff setback in 2022, the ‘Fins have now dropped eight straight games at Buffalo dating back to 2017, and by a combined score of 293-171. This season, a 3-0 Miami team traveled to Orchard Park in Week 4 and was blasted by Sean McDermott’s club, 48-20.

That aforementioned seven-point loss in Week 18 at South Florida means this franchise still hasn’t won the AFC East since 2008. Since then, the Patriots (2009-19) and Bills (2020-23) have dominated the division.

The wild card loss at Arrowhead Stadium means that the Dolphins still haven’t won a postseason game since besting the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 23-17, in overtime in the 2000 wild card round. It’s a total of six consecutive playoff losses dating back to the ’00 divisional round.

If you think those streaks are bad, keep in mind that the Miami Dolphins haven’t reached the Super Bowl since Dan Marino’s magical season of 1984. The club’s last NFL title came in 1973, when Don Shula’s club repeated as Super Bowl champions by defeating the Vikings, 24-7, at Houston’s Rice Stadium (VIII).

Will the misery end anytime soon? The Dolphins appear to be a team that’s very close, but still so far away. There’s a lot of soul searching to be done throughout the organization.