I still can’t believe the Miami Dolphins pulled off the miracle finish over the New England Patriots. It looked like it was a hard-fought effort only to come up short, but instead the Dolphins pulled off the unthinkable with the perfect execution of a miracle. Everything had to go right and it did. First, Ryan Tannehill completed the pass to Kenny Stills and then there were two successful laterals and a huge block by Ted Larsen to open a lane for Kenyan Drake to burst through. The best part was catching the Patriots with their pants down having Rob Gronkowski back as their last line of defense. There was no way Gronkowski was going to catch or tackle Drake. He’s too slow and a player who is a shell of himself due to the physical toll the game has taken on him. The Dolphins got the break they needed to pull off the most unimaginable win I think I will ever see in my lifetime. The question now is this: Can this win help spring the Dolphins to a big finish and get them into the playoffs?
All you need is a chance and the Dolphins definitely have that. It starts Sunday in Minnesota and the Vikings are a team that is struggling. The Minnesota Vikings are a talented team who were a win away from the Super Bowl last year, but they have struggled lately especially on offense. The Dolphins will have their hands full with their skills players, but their quarterback Kirk Cousins is known for turning the football over in big spots and if the Dolphins can force some turnovers on defense and make a few plays on offense they have a shot. After the Vikings, they play their home finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who seem to have mailed in their season, and the rematch with their division rivals the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo. It’s not a very difficult schedule, but the Dolphins have to be on their game.
One of the reasons that give me hope is the play of Ryan Tannehill. Since coming back from his shoulder injury, Tannehill has thrown eight touchdowns and only one interception while leading the offense to a touchdown on its opening drive in each of those games. Tannehill isn’t perfect, but he is the clear leader of our offense. He doesn’t have the best pocket awareness and holds the ball too long sometimes, but the biggest thing is he doesn’t turn the football over and coming down the stretch you need a quarterback that doesn’t turn the ball over. Plus, with Tannehill back, Kenny Stills is getting more involved and that is creating more big plays on offense.
The defense’s ability to create turnovers gives me another reason for optimism. They have come up with turnovers all season long and the quarterbacks they are playing the rest of the way have a tendency to turn the ball over. On top of the defense, the special teams unit is solid with the exception of their play last Sunday. I believe that was just a bump in the road. For the season, special teams has done a great job flipping the field position with Matt Haack and Jason Sanders along with their coverage teams.
If the Dolphins go on and win out, they will look back at the two-lateral miracle as the spark that got them going on a roll and into the postseason. The Dolphins need to carry this momentum with them starting Sunday in Minnesota. This play gives the team new optimism and a chance to keep the season alive.