The last three weeks, the Miami Dolphins are beginning to look like the club that jumped out to that impressive 3-0 start. Once again, this looks like a confident club that has had few problems putting points on the board, one way or another.
The stretch run begins tonight at Hard Rock Stadium for the current AFC East frontrunners. The Miami Dolphins play their next three games at home, have a crucial showdown with the Ravens at Baltimore in Week 17, then close the season by hosting the Bills.
As was the case to start 2023, the Dolphins have currently won three consecutive games. In the middle, there were losses to the Bills, Eagles, and Chiefs. While Mike McDaniel’s club appeared overwhelmed in the setbacks at Buffalo and at Philadelphia, it took Kansas City’s best punches in a 21-14 loss at Frankfurt. It may have been a turning point for a team trying to win a division title for the first time since 2008.
Miami is looking for a 10th win, something the club last achieved in 2020. However, that 10-6 club failed to qualify for the playoffs. The Dolphins limped into the postseason a year ago and fell to the Bills in the first round. Their division nemesis from Orchard Park knocked off the Chiefs on Sunday, and remain within striking distance of defending their AFC East title.
In recent seasons, and health has certainly been a factor, the Dolphins have made a habit of not playing their best football when it counted most. However, this year could be very different. This is a balanced team on offense with a much-improved running game. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Tyreek Hill are having MVP-like seasons.
Meanwhile, the defense is starting to come into its own. During this current winning streak, the Dolphins have limited the Raiders, Jets and Commanders, respectively, to 15 points or less. In the wins over New York and Washington, the team got interception returns for scores from Devon Holland and Andrew Van Ginkel.
There are plenty of big-time tests ahead, but this looks like a team that is growing. That maturity is one reason this club has yet to lose two games in a row this season. For a change, the Dolphins are heading down the stretch with a bang, rather than a whimper.