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

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SportsGeek

Miami Dolphins: The Good, The Bad

Sometimes the games are ugly. Sloppy. Throw in pouring rain and you the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals.

Somehow the Dolphins eeked out-and-out 26-23 win but it was not without cost(more on that later). As always there is the good and the bad.

The Good:

One name-Mike Hull. As soon as it was announced that he was starting for the injured Kiko Alonso I was in.

As those that know me will say…I love Mike Hull. While he is only 6′ and 230 lbs he makes up for it with great, great football instincts. Those were on display early on as he grabbed an early interception on a tipped pass from Carson Palmer. Throughout the game you could see him around the ball with regularity.

Hull was not perfect. Some of his drops into coverage were stiff and he bit on a few play fakes but that is understandable considering this was his first extended playing time of his career. With more experience these things can be cleaned up. His passion is undeniable.

Now I am not suggesting starting Hull over a healthy Kiko Alonso. That would be foolish. I would however find ways to get both Alonso and Hull on the field at the same time. Not to disparage Neville Hewitt or Spenser Paysinger, both solid players, however neither have the instincts shown again and again by our inside linebackers. Such a move could help our overall linebacking play tremendously.

The Bad:

After 77 games Ryan Tannehill went down to injury. The ironman finally fell. Tannehill was hurt on a low hit(some felt a dirty hit) by Arizona defensive lineman Calais Campbell.

Initially the worst was feared. Sunday night many on the team and in the media suspected he may have suffered a season ending ACL tear. Tests have shown it to be a ACL sprain. While that may seem like splitting hairs it is the difference between surgery and not.

So the Dolphins turn to back up Matt Moore to lead the push towards the playoffs. There is a (slim)chance that Tannehill could return to the field for the season ending game against the New England Patriots or the playoffs.

Personally the only way I play him again this season is if a playoff berth is on the line or in said playoffs.

Simply dodging the ACL tear-bullet should be a sigh of relief for Dolphins fans and especially one Ryan Tannehill.

 

 

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