It’s early in the season and yes, the Miami Dolphins are one of three teams in the NFL that have a 3-0 record, but how can you not enjoy the start and have optimism going forward. Last year the Dolphins had so many things thrown at them with injuries, a player going AWOL before their opener, assistant coach caught using cocaine on video, and one of the leaders of the team frustrated with his contract. It was a recipe for a disastrous season. Adam Gase looked defeated as a coach and looked like a coach needing to put out more fires in his locker room.
This year the Dolphins got rid of some bad apples in their locker room for more team players and leaders in the locker room. It also helps the Dolphins got their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill back as well. Sure, the Dolphins took a risk getting rid of some talented players, but Gase and the front office felt the risk was worth the reward. Some experts felt the Dolphins would win only 3 games this year. Well after 3 weeks, the Dolphins already have 3 wins and there is no chance this team is just winning 3 games.
The 2016 Dolphins were a resilient team winning 10 games in so many different ways as a team and so far, this team is looking like that team from 2 years ago. The Dolphins have been making timely plays at the right time whether it be the defense coming up with game changing goal line stances in the first quarter, a kick return for a touchdown, a timely interception, or a big play on offense to swing the momentum of the game. That’s the way this team has been so far, they find ways to win. On Sunday the Dolphins were outplayed and at one point in the first half the Oakland Raiders were out gaining the Dolphins by a 3 to 1 margin. The Dolphins came up with a goal line stand in the first quarter that could have put the Dolphins in a 14-0 hole and held the Raiders to a field goal late in the first half when the Raiders were inside the Dolphins 5-yard line to keep them in the game. Then the offense came around making big play after big play that I haven’t seen this team make in years on offense. The jet sweep by Jakeem Grant for a touchdown and then the double reverse pass thrown by Albert Wilson to a wide-open Grant to put the Dolphins in the lead. Then just when it looked like the Raiders were going to come down and take the lead away from us Xavien Howard came up with another huge interception in the end zone to give the offense the ball back and then put the game away with a 71-yard jet sweep to Wilson. It wasn’t pretty, but the Dolphins found a way to win.
More than anything I love what I see from the team after they score touchdowns with the players together doing a photo shoot or Grant and Wilson high fiving each other just before the touchdown. This team is having fun and it’s something I can’t say about last year’s team. Look football is a tough, physical sport with pressure to win, but it’s also important to have fun while playing. When I referee on Friday nights in the fall, one of the things I get a great joy out of is seeing teams come together and have fun after putting in all of the time and effort in the off season and during the week leading up to the game. That’s what I love about this Dolphins team just have fun baby.