Sports

Are the Miami Dolphins a Good Bet for the Play-offs?

Miami Dolphins Fans Getting Ready For 2017 NFL Draft Party

It’s not been easy being a Miami Dolphins fan for the last few years, but the team still has a devoted following who have great hopes for this NFL season.

The ultimate aim must be to see their way through to the play-offs, a feat that they have failed to achieve since 2016, It’s been far longer since they made it to the SuperBowl itself back in 1984 and it’s all been a very far cry from the incredible season that they enjoyed in 1972. In that year, not only did they see off the Washington Redskins to win Superbowl VII, they also recorded the only ever perfect season of 17 wins and no losses.

But the team that coach Brian Flores took over in 2019 was very different from the one that enjoyed such heady success and his first season in charge was by no means an easy one. The 5-11 result was one that fairly reflected how things had gone for the Dolphins. And, although any one player doesn’t make a team, things hadn’t been helped by the departure of Ryan Tannehill for the Tennessee Titans, leaving a considerable hole in the heart of the Dolphins’ offensive line-up.

There was also the unwanted controversy about whether the team started the season off deliberately losing matches in order to have a better chance in the draft.

A new beginning

However, there’s a saying that it’s always darkest before the dawn and it seems like this may well have been the case with the Dolphins who have had something of a barnstorming start to the season. It’s also one which has led some to speculate about their very real chances of making it through to the play-offs. If they do, this will surely be the strongest vindication there is of Brian Flores’ methods and man management.

To see just how confident many are that this could be a turnaround season for the Dolphins one only needs to notice how often they are showing up as a team that’s likely to win in OLBG.com’s NFL predictions each week.

As of two thirds of the way through November, the record is 6-3 and the momentum definitely seems to be going in the direction of the Dolphins, despite a shaky start to the season.

With no pre-season games to start fine-tuning tuning the team before the heat of actual competition, the Dolphins were an untried entity back in September. The first matches didn’t bode well with three defeats by the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks in the first four games.

Since then, however, it’s a completely different Miami Dolphins that have emerged. Praised by many for starting to play genuinely complementary football with defense and offense acting in perfect harmony it may well be that Flores has managed to perform something of a miracle.

Jets grounded

In this run of success, the team has seen off the Jacksonville Jaguars, the San Francisco 49ers, both the Los Angeles Rams and Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals. But it was the match against the New York Jets that really saw the team at its very best. The score line of 24-0 was undoubtedly helped along by the sheer number of Jets players who were side lined by injury. Nonetheless, this represented a great victory over the long-time rivals and could point the way ahead.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go in the season and nothing is decided until all 16 games have been played. A great deal is also going to depend on the players themselves, and the performances that they put in before now and the beginning of January.

Tua, superstar

One thing that many people can agree about is the importance of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovaiola As the fifth selection in the draft this year and getting his first taste of the professional game since leaving Alabama, he is already establishing himself as the real deal.

Able to keep calm under pressure and to make the right plays when they really matter, not just this season, but his whole future seems very secure with the Dolphins. For anyone in need of persuasion, they just need to look at his performance against the Chargers.

Working well with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, he made it through the game without making a single mistake. And the fact that he has been positioned as point guard is keeping the real pressure off as he develops and matures. Of course, the one player who may not be celebrating the arrival of the rising star is veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has been displaced in his favor.

Other key players who could help to decide the team’s fate are going to be the cornerback triumverate of Xavien Howard, Brandon Jones and Noah Igbinoghene, combined with the running backs Jordan Howard and Matt Breida.

But, while many of the pieces do seem to be in place for a great run at the play-offs, there’s no doubt that there is still a long road that has to be taken. No season is ever decided until the final play has been made and anyone who has followed the NFL will know to expect the unexpected.

That said, surely the Dolphins have their best chance in years of making it through – and soon enough we’ll know whether or not they can manage it.

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Back to top button