Are the Miami Dolphins turning the corner in this 2020 season

Are the Miami Dolphins Turning the Corner?

Last Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals was one of the best games I’ve seen this year. It featured two young quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray going back and forth. In the end, the Dolphins prevailed 34-31 in a game I’m amazed that they won considering the team had 5 assistant coaches and 1 player placed in intensive COVID protocol and they couldn’t participate. The Dolphins were also down their top two running backs and lost wide receiver Preston Williams during the game. There were a lot of reasons why the Dolphins could lose this game, but the resiliency and character to come out with a road victory over the Cardinals.

This is the type of win that makes me starting to believe the Dolphins are starting to turn the corner in their rebuilding process. Right now if the season ended the Dolphins would be in the playoffs which is a far cry from a month ago when the team was 1-3 and wasn’t looking good. Since then they have won 4 in a row. Sure they beat a banged-up San Francisco 49ers team, then a winless New York Jets team, and the Los Angeles Rams, in-spite of the team not moving the ball on offense and being outgained by 300 yds.

However, this game was different from the other 3 wins. This was a team effort win against an up and coming team in the Cardinals in their back yard. The offense moved the ball with Tagovailoa when they had to make timely plays including on a 93-yard drive when the team trailed 31-24. The defense gave up yards but made timely plays when needed including a scoop and score fumble recovery for a touchdown by Shaq Lawson. The defense came up with big stops when they had to. At the end of the first half, the Dolphins stopped the Cardinals with a minute to go to get the ball back and kick a field goal before the half which was huge in the outcome. Then with 5 minutes to go, the Dolphins stopped the Cardinals on 4th and inches to get the ball back to get in position for the winning field goal. If the Cardinals get that 1st down, they probably will win the game. Jason Sanders continues his excellent season making those field goals from 56 and 50 yards to make it 20 consecutive field goals made.

This team is starting to reminding me of the 2016 team when they started 1-4 and then turned this around to go on a run to make the playoffs. That team found ways to win games like they did Sunday and were resilient in-spite of their shortcoming. I’m not saying they are definitely making the playoffs, but the character of this team is starting to make me believe they can. This team finds ways to despite not running the ball and make big plays on offense. They also give up yards,  but they come up with big plays when they have to on defense.

The next few games are going to us if this team can make a playoff push. The schedule is favorable with the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, the rematch with the Jets, and the Cincinnati Bengals all teams with losing records, but each team could give the Dolphins a game. The Chargers have lost a handful of games by combined 24 points total and sooner or later their luck could change. The Broncos game is in Denver and it’s a tough place to play with the altitude. Plus the Broncos have been in some games this year like the Chargers and have come up short. The Jets is a division road game and those games can be tricky. They could have and should have beaten the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills in their back yard so who’s to say they can’t give the Dolphins a game this time around. The Bengals are the Bengals, but their rookie quarterback Joe Burrow has played well and kept them competitive. In all of these games, the Dolphins will be favored, but with a young team, you have to learn how to win against teams you are favored to beat. This will be the first time in head coach Brian Flores’s tenure the team for a stretch of games is favored and expected to win. If the Dolphins can all them then they are turning the corner from a losing team into a winner. It’s another test for the Dolphins that they have to show they are ready for if they want to make the playoffs.