Will The Miami Dolphins Make the Playoffs?

Showing signs of improvement and with a bit of an “attitude,” the Miami Dolphins defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 19-7 in their Week 13 matchup of the season.

Tua Tagovailoa had a great bounce-back game after missing last week due to a thumb injury and being benched in his last outing against the Denver Broncos. The talk leading up to this game was whether or not Tua would adjust to the tight throwing windows, which he admitted to having difficulties adjusting to.

I’d say that it seems like the rookie quarterback is making improvements in that area.

Tua completed 26 of 39 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown to help the Dolphins earn their 8th win. It took until the second half for Tagovailoa to get going, but once he was locked in, we got to see a glimpse of what he is capable of. What this offense was capable of. Tua spread the ball around and found eight different targets in the game. Destroying the Bengal’s secondary with his accuracy.

Miami’s running game also made some outstanding progress during this matchup. In his first game back since Week 9 due to injury, Miles Gaskin provided the Dolphins with a running attack that has rarely been seen this season. Rushing 21 times for 90 yards, Gaskin was able to help the Dolphin’s offense remain balanced and productive.

Fan’s got to see just how good this Miami Dolphin’s offense could be… at least once the second half started. The Dolphin’s offense struggled so badly in the first half that some journalists were suggesting Tua be benched, again. However, once the half started and with the help of an “up-tempo” offense to slow the defense, Tua could get comfortable and lead the Dolphins down the field to score. It was almost like watching a child growing right in front of our eyes. One half, Tua was having trouble completing a single pass; the next, he was orchestrating a “no-huddle” offense, completing 5 out of 6 passes, one of which was a 5-yard touchdown strike to tight end Mike Gesicki. This was definitely an important game in the development of Tua’s growth as an NFL quarterback. Tua struggled early but continued to battle through it, and he preserved. This should have made Dolphins fans excited.

Miami’s defense also had a good game, and against a 2-8-1 Bengals team who was starting backup quarterback Brandon Allen, it was expected of them too. Kyle Van Noy had his best game of the season with 3 sacks, while Shaq Lawson had 2 of his own, followed by Zach Sieler with 1. The secondary also contributed to the defense’s success by causing turnovers, with Xavien Howard and Nik Needham both intercepting passes of their own. Howard continues to build his case for All-Pro with a league-leading eight interceptions this season. Nik Needham is developing into a solid inside cornerback for this defensive unit.

Hopefully, the Miami Dolphins can carry this momentum into next week when facing the 11-1 defending Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. This Dolphins team is now the healthiest it has been in a long time and seems to be finally playing its best football season. Miami still needs to find ways to get going early instead of waiting until the second half. With the Chiefs high powered offense, led by the highly talented Patrick Mahomes, the Dolphins will have to take advantage of every opportunity they get on offense.

Miami’s defense will be put to its toughest test of the season this coming week. The Chiefs offense is littered with talent at every position, and Patrick Mahomes is a magician with the football in his hands. Mahomes also presents the Dolphins defense with its worst kryptonite. He’s a dual-threat quarterback, and he’s one of the better ones in the league.

The “soft” part of the Dolphin’s schedule is over and now is when things get tougher. Our four remaining opponents have a combined record of 33-15, and every single one of them is fighting for a shot at making the playoffs as well. However, it’s the Dolphins who control their own fate. If the Dolphins can win their remaining four games, they’ll make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Can they? Will they? A sense of optimism is in the air among Dolphins fans.