Miami Dolphins fans left with far too many "What If" scenarios in 2023

As I watched the AFC Championship game, I could not help but think about what might have been "if" only a few things turned out different

Bradley Chubb lays on the ground in pain before being taken off in a cart due to a knee injury that prematurely ended his season.
Bradley Chubb lays on the ground in pain before being taken off in a cart due to a knee injury that prematurely ended his season. / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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As I sat and watched the AFC Championship Game between Kansas City and Baltimore, I allowed myself to daydream about what would have happened if certain things didn't happen to the Dolphins this year. A different bounce here, a tackle there, a substitution there, etc.

So many little things happened to the Dolphins this year that kept them out of having an opportunity of going to Baltimore a second time this season to play for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

I played the "What If" game.

If is the biggest two-letter word in the world.

What if instead of going 10-1 when they scored 21 or more points, they scored another touchdown against Tennessee in the fourth quarter instead of kicking a field goal when they were inside the ten-yard line, and went 11-0?

They would have won the division and the home Buffalo game would not have mattered.

What if Jake Bailey did not kick a line drive punt that out-kicked his coverage and Miami did not surrender a 96-yard punt return to Deonte Harty that tied the home game against Buffalo at 14-14?

Deonte Harty
Buffalo Bills' return man Deonte Harty ripping the guts out of Dolphins fans with an electrifying, game-changing 96 yard punt return for a touchdown. / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

They would not have lost momentum and might have won the game, securing the division and a home playoff game with the number two seed.

What if Special Teams' Coach Danny Crossman taught the punt coverage team how to actually cover a punt inside the five-yard line and make a tackle?

Harty would not have been allowed to score and the momentum would not have swung away from Miami in the second half.

Boom. A tackle, Miami potentially wins the division and does not have to go through Kansas City to play Buffalo again.

What if Mike McDaniel took out the starters at the end of the drubbing in Baltimore?

Bradley Chubb would not have torn every ligament in his knee and would have been ready to go down the stretch. Miami might have had a pass rush off the edge that could have put more pressure on dual threat quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.

Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce
What if Patrick Mahomes did not hoist the Lamar Hunt Trophy on Sunday and it was Tua Tagovailoa? One can only dream. / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

What if Miami beat Buffalo at home on Monday night? Would they have won the next week, again at home against Buffalo?

Who cares? It did not happen and Miami got blown out at Kansas City the following week ending their season prematurely.


What if next season, Miami fans don't have to ask "What If"

I knew this column was not going to end well.

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