All off-season we heard the predictions. Every major sports show, every major radio show. Las Vegas sports book set there win total at 6.5 wins. Sports Illustrated gave Miami 3 wins all year. Everyone outside the Dolphins organization questioned every move they made. How can you not? They got rid of their best players and got very little in return. A few late round picks for Jarvis Landry, a salary dump in Ndamukong Suh. They let Mike Pouncey walk, traded Jay Ajayi last year. Adam Gase was the 2nd favorite coach to get fired this season behind Cleveland’s Hue Jackson. How do you like me now?
In a world of self-promoting, “all about me” personalities, the Miami Dolphins changed their culture with a lot of key character roles. During the 4-years of Jarvis Landry, I loved his passion. He had sure hands, he was fierce and dependable. He also wanted to get paid like a game changer. In those 4 seasons, I never said “he changed the game”. Yesterday, watching those explosive plays from Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant made me forget about those 400 catches from Landry. Instead of force feeding him to make him happy, he got shipped to Cleveland. Instead of paying Suh quarterback money, they cut him. The Dolphins brought in rotational players to keep everyone fresh, almost like a college team. One can argue that in Robert Quinn’s 3 games he has made more impact than Suh had in his 3 seasons with Miami.
The offense and defense have improved with depth and versatility. Everyone is getting a piece of the pie, instead of one player getting the lions share. The mix between Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola is refreshing. No complaining if they don’t get the ball, no unnecessary penalties swinging momentum. All Amendola does is catch first downs, all Jakeem Grant does is make big plays. So, the Dolphins won yesterday with possibly our best offensive weapon, Kenyan Drake, getting 3-yards rushing. The time of possession yesterday was 2-1 in Oakland favor, except the Dolphins found a way to win, again! They’re now 10-1 with Tannehill’s last 11 starts. Put some respect next to this guy’s name please! We all know he isn’t elite, but he and Gase are good enough to win. That’s all that matters isn’t it?
This week’s game in New England is the ultimate test. The results will matter, and a win will put the Dolphins 3 games up. A loss will make it close again. The Phins haven’t won a game in Foxboro since the “Wildcat game” a decade ago. As we all know, a dog with its back against the wall is a scary dog.
With the New England Patriots losing 2 straight games, it’s hard to think they will lose this week. The chances are slim. About as slim as the Dolphins starting 3-0 this year. After 20 years of waiting, this could be the end of a dynasty, or it could be the beginning of a new team ruling the AFC East. I hope it’s the Dolphins that come out on top this coming Sunday. For now, let’s enjoy this win again and move on to the next week. Kind of sounds like the Patriot way doesn’t it? Phins up!