When Miami took the field Sunday vs. the Patriots, there was a level of uncertainty amongst us fans. It was reported early Sunday morning that Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Jakeem Grant, and Ereck Flowers would all miss the game. 4 offensive starters, including the top two receiving options on the team, lead many to question how Miami would move the ball. After all, the entire build-up to the game, all we had heard was how Bill Belichick never loses to rookie quarterbacks.

Brian Flores and Chan Gailey ( can we get some Chan Gailey love, too, please) decided that they were going to run the ball down the throats of the Patriots defense. Miami amassed 250!! rushing yards in the game. Rookie free agent Salvon Ahmed became Miami’s first 100-yard rusher in 2 years, rushing for 122 yards and a TD. Matt Breida added 86 yards of his own, showing signs of life that Miami fans have been waiting for.

Recall in week 1, New England unleashed a run-heavy, QB power offense that caught Miami off guard. New England rushed for 217 yards and 3 TD’s in the Week 1 victory over Miami with a score of 21-11. In week 15, Miami flipped that script and rushed for 250 yards and 3 TD’s themselves, leading to a 22-12 victory. How beautiful and poetic. Brian Flores and Chan Gailey found a weakness and exploited it until the final whistle. Miami didn’t even kneel down in victory formation during their final possession. They continued running the ball. Because why not.

As Miami continues to try and march towards the playoffs, this is the exact development we need to have a shot in January. The recipe for success in playoff football has always been a dominant defense and a solid running game. Dominant defense, check… solid running game, TBD. We have seen this defense have stretches of absolute brilliance this season. Miami hasn’t allowed a touchdown in 3 games this season. That mark is tied for 1st in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. If Miami continues to show that level of excellence defensively, continue with the newfound rushing attack, and continue to dominate in the turnover margin, this team can make some noise.

I know Miami needs to take care of business in the regular season to even start with the playoff talk, but this team seems hungry. They seem motivated and determined to do whatever they need to, to make sure they are playing 3 weeks from now. With the upcoming primetime game vs. the reeling Raiders, Miami should continue to test out this new rushing attack. The Raiders defense is 25th in the league in rush yards allowed and 27th in the league in opposing YPA at 4.6. There should be plenty of room for Miami to run against this defense. A perfect “tune-up” for the Week 17 showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

If this team wants to find the postseason, this rushing attack is exactly what the doctor ordered. Ladies and Gentlemen, this team is for real. We have all the key elements needed to be successful. Combine that with the future draft capital and cap space we have, which gets fun real quickly. Kudos to Stephen Ross, Chris Grier, Brian Flores, and all involved in this remarkable turnaround.