After Week 14’s "Monday Night Meltdown", plenty of Dolphins fans jumped off the bandwagon. Miami allowed a 14-point lead to evaporate in less than four minutes and lost to the 4-8 Titans.
After the loss, the doubts amongst the fan base began to creep in and the question was asked, "Are these the same old Dolphins? Given Miami’s recent history, the question has merit."
For those of you new to the bandwagon, here’s a quick history lesson.
1. Dolphins collapse to finish 2013 season
In 2013, entering Week 16 and 17, the Dolphins needed victories against the 5-10 Bills and the 7-8 Jets to make the playoffs. Before the matchups the Dolphins were 8-6 and in control of their playoff destiny. The Dolphins would lose to the Bills 19-0 and to the Jets 20-7. The Dolphins missed the playoffs that year.
2. Jets keep Dolphins out of the playoffs
In 2014 the Dolphins needed a win in Week 17 to make the playoffs. Facing the 3-12 Jets, the Dolphins laid an egg and lost 37-24 and effectively missing the playoffs again.
3. Buffalo steamrolls Miami to eliminate them from playoff contention
In 2020 the Dolphins lost to the Bills 56-26 in the last game of the season. The Dolphins looked hapless the entire game. A game with playoff implications.
4. Titans keep Dolphins out of the playoffs
In 2021 the Dolphins turned in another subpar performance versus the Tennessee Titans, losing 34-3 and missing the playoffs again.
Fast forward to Week 14. Needing a win against the Titans to keep pace with the Ravens, the Dolphins turned in another dud. Miami surrendered 14 points in less than four minutes and dropped to 9-4 and second in the AFC.
Many of Miami’s naysayers never went away. Monday night’s loss only made them louder. Many picked the Jets to defeat the Dolphins on Sunday. With Miami’s history of folding in December, who could blame them?
Tua Tagovailoa tried to warn everyone this was a different Dolphins team.
In Week 15 the Dolphins silenced the doubters, if just for one week. Miami turned in a complete performance against the New York Jets. Miami’s defense registered 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 9 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions. The Jets offense didn’t register a play in Dolphin territory until late in the 3rdquarter.
Raheem Mostert scored his 19th and 20th rushing touchdowns of the season while Tua Tagovailoa registered a 119.4 QB Rating. Tua finished 21/24 for 224 yards and 1 touchdown. Tua also went a 4th straight game without throwing an interception and zero turnovers in three of his last four games. Jaylen Waddle delivered his best game of the season with 8 catches for 142 yards and a score on a 60-yard pass from Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins played without both starting safeties, without Xavien Howard and with their tenth different offensive line combination this season. The Dolphins of old would have folded under these conditions. These aren’t the same Dolphins of years past. These Dolphins are mentally tough and well coached.
The Dolphins will enjoy this victory for one day and then get ready for a Week 16 matchup versus the Dallas Cowboys. A victory will keep Miami in second place and the doubters quiet for another week.