SportsGeek

Miami Dolphins: 1%

Playoffs.

For the first time since 2008 the Miami Dolphins are headed to the playoffs. After a 1-4 start rookie head coach Adam Gase has willed an injury plagued team to the post-season.

There should be nothing but joy in South Beach…Right?

Not quite. There is unrest in Dolphins nation. For all the challenges and obstacles this team has overcome the disrespect is real.

Often franchises will try to create the notion that it is ‘us vs them’ to motivate the team and their fans. It is an effective motivational tool. In the Dolphins case they do not need to create anything. Nation media seems to enjoy slapping them in the face. For some reason there are those who seek to invalidate the achievements of this season.

There is the NFL Power Index which in the final edition ranked the Denver Broncos ahead of the Dolphins even though the Dolphins made the postseason as a wild card ahead of the Broncos. Miami did not make the playoffs as the best team of a bad division(yes I’m looking at you Texans), they had to fight and claw ahead of the Broncos among other teams to make the postseason.  They had to sweep division rivals Buffalo and New York-teams who had owned Miami in recent years. They had to overcome injuries to Reshad Jones, Mike Pouncey, Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins and most recently the loss of franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill to finish 10-6.

Critics will say that the Dolphins only beat one winning team on their way to the playoffs(Pittsburgh). The fact is you play the games in front of you. The 1-4 start hurts that is undeniable. That said the six game winning streak should not be discounted no matter who it came against.

Six games that started with the dismantling of Sundays opponent the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-15. They followed that with a game against the Buffalo Bills who were coming off a four game winning streak. A Bills team that the Dolphins had struggled against in recent years. Some of the wins were impressive in others they simply survived. At the end of the day how you win is less important than the final score.

And so here we are in playoffs once again and Espn’s Football Power Index says that Miami has a 1% chance, one percent. Actually that is not true. That is a lie, a fabrication. They give the Dolphins a .2% chance of reaching the Super Bowl.

They have written them off so much so that several times this week when talking about the playoff teams they leave the Dolphins out of the conversation entirely. Earlier this week ESPN could not even be bothered to create a graphic for the team when talking about teams chances in the AFC.

Respect has to be earned. You would think with all that the Dolphins have overcome they would get just a little respect. Apparently there is yet another hurdle for this team to clear. And if they win today the media will surely write them off again.

1%.

I think I will take this one percent over the other 99.

#FinsUp

Standard
SportsGeek

Miami Dolphins: Back From The Dead

The season looked done. After competitive losses to the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins began to flounder. After winning a game against the Cleveland Browns that they should have lost(Cleveland missed three field goals), the Dolphins looked lost against the Cincinnati Bengals and were run over by the Tennessee Titans.

While injuries have taken their toll early this did not look like a team built to win this season. I admit I was starting to dig into college tape for  players that may help us in next years draft…before game six. I was checking out running backs, tight ends, linebackers, cornerbacks and yes even taking a look at possible quarterbacks to be taken early in next years draft.

Then the Steelers came to town.

This should not be a good thing. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a good team. A well coached team. They have offensive stars in LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown. None of that mattered. Not on Sunday. The Miami offense pounded the ball with second year back Jay Ajayi to the tune of 204 yds and two touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill made plays when it mattered(receivers dropped two touchdowns). The much maligned defense actually showed up. Outside of a few missed assignments it looked dominant.

The Dolphins got healthy for at least one week.

The resurrection is not complete yet. Today division rival Buffalo Bills come to town on the heels of a four game winning streak. The Bills have been a nightmare in recent years but this is a new regime, a new team.

Exactly how new remains to be seen.

A win today can save the season. A win can show that this is a different team.

Just Win.

 

Standard