Last January, when the Miami Dolphins decided to go into a full rebuild mode tearing down the roster and I knew it was going to be a potentially long season. After the Dolphins lost their first two games of the season at home by a combined score of 102-10, I told my wife I wasn’t sure they were going to win a game this year. I had to constantly remind myself the NFL season is a marathon not a sprint and it’s not how you start, but how you finish. September by far was the worst I have ever seen the Dolphins in my 30 years of cheering for the team and that includes going through a 1-15 season because the Dolphins didn’t just get beat, they got embarrassed. They had no life with a roster made up of no names and less talented players.


However, as the season went on the Dolphins continued to play hard even in defeat. After an 0-7 start, the Dolphins won 5 of their final 9 games. If you told me the Dolphins would do that after watching them in September, I would have thought you were crazy. I was even more shocked Sunday when the Dolphins went up to New England, where they haven’t won since 2008 and lost to them 43-0 in week 2. The Patriots never get beat at home especially in December and with a first-round bye at stake. Like all season the Dolphins kept fighting to the end and put themselves in position to win the game. They made the big play in crunch time against the mighty Patriots to win the game 27-24 and prevented the Patriots from getting a first-round bye in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.


I can’t tell you how proud I am of how this team has played this year. They were talent deficient in most areas, had the worst rushing attack in team history, and stop the run or rush the passer on defense. In-spite of all of those things, head coach Brian Flores had his team ready weeks after week and they competed every game. We saw players develop like Devante Parker and Mike Gesicki on offense. On defense players that came out of nowhere like Nick Needham and Vince Biegel to make good contributions this season. Most of all I enjoyed watching quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has been a journeyman throughout his career, but he is fun to watch. He always plays hard with a passion and love of the game you have to like as a fan. He’s a gunslinger so he’ll make good plays and bad plays, but he’s a leader and the team rallies around him that’s something this team has been missing at the quarterback position. He’s 37 years old so he’s not the franchise quarterback, but if there were traits, I was looking for in a quarterback they have to be like Fitzpatrick. We’ll see what happens this off season at quarterback, but the Dolphins would be foolish not to bring him back to at least compete.

The biggest question I found myself asking myself the other day after the season finale win over the Patriots was can the Dolphins carry this positive momentum into next season? I’ve seen the Dolphins end the season on 6 game winning streaks in 2005 and have surprising playoff runs in 2008 and 2016, but only to flame out the next year to become after thoughts. The Dolphins have a lot of salary cap space and draft picks this off season to bring in more quality player to improve the roster. They will need more talented players to help carry the positive momentum they had to end this season into next year.