This season going CRAZY, top in the AFC East, looking on track for the playoffs, and changing narrative after narrative about our Miami Dolphins. There’s even talk around Tua Tagovailoa for MVP, which is nuts considering some people considered him not even good enough to start over Teddy Bridgewater, now he’s good enough top be in that conversation. Changing narrative after narrative.
And I feel its about damn time, not just for Tua, but for us too! We waited too long, we suffered the Brady dominance era, we endured mad playoff droughts, we lived through Adam Gase and Jay Cutler. We done being patient, we deserve this.
This season is a completely different story. 7-3 going into the bye, top of the AFC East.Tua in the MVP conversation, Waddle and Hill on the top 10 WR list, Bradley Chubb joining the franchise, Connor Williams a top 5 center, Jeff Wilson running hard with 2 TDs in 2 games. There is so much to get hype about and we’ll return to a game against the Texans which given both teams form, should be a winnable game for us.
So with us on a bye, I changed tact for the series. Instead of going Behind Enemy Lines, I thought I would go Inside the Lines, with a Dolphins fan to discuss the season so far. And WHAT A GUEST I managed to get for this special edition. None other than the Miami Dolphins fan of the Year for this season in Allie Goodman, or Dolphreaky as you may know her. A joy to have her with me and celebrate her success this year, and above all, talk about our Miami Dolphins.
Hello mate, thank you SO much for joining me for this special edition. Every week I talk about other teams, this is a thrill to finally talk Dolphins, more Dolphins and nothing but the Dolphins. But before that… you! What a year eh? MIAMI DOLPHINS FAN OF THE YEAR!!! I’m eagerly awaiting International Fan of the Year haha, hopefully, the prize being to be flown over for a game. Hey, I can dream! Haha. But you, how does it feel mate? Did you know you were in the running or was this completely out of the blue?
It feels incredible and totally surreal! I first knew I was being considered when a few of my friends (Alex Butsky, Gloria Montes, and Christian Mora to name a few) started spreading word on social media that they were voting for me and encouraged others to do so. I could tell the nominations were really starting to pick up speed when people started asking me for my date of birth, which was one of the required fields on the nomination form. Then huge groups worldwide, such as Fins Up UK and Miami Dolfans Germany, started posting that I was their chosen candidate. On Sunday, October 23rd at the Steelers-Dolphins pre-game tailgate, I found out I was Dolphins FOTY22! My ticket rep, Reggie Mobley, had called earlier in the week saying the Dolphins wanted to come to our tailgate to interview superfans for the 50th anniversary of the Perfect Season. He asked if I would be on hand around 5:30 pm, to which I said I would be of course. At the tailgate around 4:30 pm, I was approached by two girls in official-looking Dolphins polos saying they were from the video team and that they knew it wasn’t quite time yet for the interview, but they wanted to make sure I was present. That’s when I really got suspicious as I noticed they came to see if **I** was present, but not the other superfans I assumed would also be interviewed. Subsequently, I was nervous about said interview and around 5:30pm I noticed the video team approaching with our mascot, TD, and my heart just about stopped when I realized what could be happening. They asked a few questions and I nervously answered, but when Terry said “Congratulations, you are the Miami Dolphins FOTY” I couldn’t do anything, but cry. I was literally shaking. People started to notice the commotion and I was soon flooded with hugs and cheers from the other fans. It was a moment I will remember so vividly for the rest of my life. I am so looking forward to all the things in store for me, including attending the NFL Honors and the Super Bowl! I am also looking forward to meeting the other teams’ FOTYs and showcasing what our fanbase is all about – our diehard love for the Miami Dolphins and our Phamily. It’s already been fun, with Good Morning Football sharing a segment about me during the show and NFL Networking tweeting about me and asking people to vote. I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
There’s so much love for you around the fanbase, I think that’s become obvious. We are all thrilled to have you representing us at all these events. Delighted that you have had this experience and hope you enjoy every aspect of the journey.
And talking of journey, what a ride this season has been huh? 7-3 going into the bye, is that a fair reflection of how we have played do you think? We have had defensive strongholds, defensive collapses, offensive dominance, offensive struggles, we have caused upsets and been upset. But whatever has come and gone we are 7-3. Do you think that’s a fair reflection?
I do feel 7-3 is a fair reflection of how we have played. We have had close games and not-so-close games. But at the end of the day, we are winning. Those 3 losses were without Tua, the crucial leader and cornerstone of this team. It’s a little nerve-wracking to know how badly we struggled without one singular man, but it’s definitely a testament to the value that Tua brings to this team. We’ve had many injuries thus far, and we’ve struggled in various ways, but at the end of the day we are winning consistently and even when the defense is struggling, the offense is making up for it and vice versa. These wins are full-team wins and that’s exciting!
Yeah, Coach Mike said as much himself didn’t he? Complimentary football, when the offense struggled against the Steelers, the Defense saw us through. When the Defense got us in a shoot-out with the Lions, the offense came and outgunned them. This roster is holding each other up and beating adversity whenever it comes at us.
Finally, we seemed to put it all together against the Browns, in the most complete game from all phases in a while. That’s set expectations high and we’re all eagerly awaiting the return against Houston. Will that be as straightforward as we expect?
I think we will continue the success we saw against the Browns. Let’s be honest; the Texans are not playing lights-out football like we are (1 win?!). I don’t think the Dolphins will skip a beat coming off the bye. It will be good for the team to rest up as the remainder of the schedule is tough – especially with several important divisional games coming up, a cross-country trip, and the real potential for a playoff appearance. I fully expect the Dolphins will take care of business against the struggling Texans.
I fully expect that too. We have to be careful and prepared of course, on any given Sunday and all that. But if we are serious about being a playoff team and really contending, then we have to make light work of games like this. No doubts. I agree, I think we come back rested and strong and take care of business, as you say.
Whilst it is our offense that has been much talked about, Tua’s ascendency and Hill and Waddle’s explosiveness, I want to change the topic and talk about a defensive piece. Undrafted rookie Kader Kohou seems to have formed quite the role for himself. What do you think of him? Is he here for the long term or is he simply just plugging a gap for now?
Kader is looking super solid and recording tackles left and right. He has been tasked with a huge responsibility with Byron Jones out and X seemingly struggling. I think in essence, he is saving the defense right now. I love his physicality and athleticism and he’s proving to be a stand-out. His rookie season is panning out well and I think he will be with us for the long term. No way the Dolphins will move on from him if he keeps producing like he is.
Oh I hope so. I love his story and I love how he earns every snap, each and every week. That kind of hunger he shows through his journey and in every snap reflects the hunger of so many within the fanbase. This franchise needs Kader Kohou, I believe, and we should not take him for granted.
And its not just Darth Kader that is stepping up. Now I don’t mean to tempt fate but the OLine seems to finally be right, especially in the zero-sacks game last time out. Is this just a run of from or have they turned the corner as a group.
I think this group has majorly turned a corner. They’re doing a much better job of protecting Tua and giving him the necessary time to make accurate and complete throws. It’s hard not to think that Tua’s concussions lit a fire under their bums. The o-line needs to continue to work cohesively, so our fearless leader can stay at the helm and be as productive as he is. They’re also creating running room for our RBs Mostert and Wilson and it’s exciting to be seeing these breakout runs for good yardage – something we have been missing from this offense for a while.
Oh absolutely, the run game has made a big step forward in the last couple of weeks with a pair of TDs for Wilson in his first two Dolphin appearances. We’re going to need this dual attack as we get into the final stretch I feel. Tua is balling but he can’t be expected to do it alone, getting that run game churning will create opportunities for Tua to work at his best.
So with those games to go, potentially the toughest part of our schedule, where do you think we stand? We have the Bills, the 49ers, the Justin Herbert led Chargers which will bring narrative and comparison, as well as remaining divisional games against the Patriots and the Jets. This won’t be an easy stretch, where do you think we land?
We have a long road trip ahead of us. I initially had concerns about the 49ers game, but seeing as we now have an offensive mastermind, Mike McDaniel, as our coach and knowing that this man knows the 49ers better than most, and that a handful of our players are ex-Niners, I’m not so worried. The Bills will be our next big challenge and we all know that. Going into Buffalo in the thick of winter is never fun or easy. Josh Allen, if he remains healthy, it’s a huge threat. However, the Bills are proving to be extremely beatable recently with losses to the Jets, Vikings, and the Dolphins already under their belt. We contained them at home; it’s just a matter of doing so on the road. The Dolphins know how critical these last games are.
Our road defense has been a concern, there’s no doubt there. The difference between home and away D play has been crazy, and with that looooong road trip you mentioned, this is something we’ll need to see corrected for sure.
And you’re brushing off those 49ers with confidence there, I love that, but I don’t know if I can do the same. As much as Coach Mike knows them… they know him, and that handful of players. Who better to stop Wilson and Mostert than the guys who watched them week after week for a few years. So yeah, I’m not quite as confident and I think that game will be a tough one for sure.
Plus, there has been talk of our coaching situation. That critical and vocal base who have nothing left to sling at Tua, have been taking swipes at Coach Mike. Despite the wins and the positive vibes surrounding the franchise, there have been questions regarding the play calling, especially at 4th and short. Personally, I love the guy, but what do you think we have in him?
Yeah, there have been questionable play calls, but I think it lends to the confidence that Coach has with this offense and possible lack of confidence in our kicker. I admire his confidence, and luckily the few questionable play calls didn’t hurt us tremendously in the end. I love Coach’s spirit and the way he has with words. He’s fun to watch in press conferences and post-game locker room talks with the team. I think he is very pleased with what he’s accomplished thus far and the team and fans are, too.
I guess the more he keeps winning the less those questions will matter. I love the guy, he is making watching Miami Dolphins fun again. Between games, in all those off-season weeks, he gives us the entertainment factor and we enjoy this franchise. And he’s also winning games. He’s not just a gimmick, he schemes brilliantly. You only have to hear Myles Garrett’s comments to understand how well-prepared he has this team. And he’s a ROOKIE, he is out coaching people in Year 1. He is making players into starts in Year 1. He will only get better, he’s a student of the game and I believe the future is bright under Coach Mike.
Is there anyone else who is shining in this McDaniel offense? Obviously, Tua is finally getting his props, and Tyreek and Waddle are putting up numbers, but are there any other names benefitting from the Mike McDaniel way?
Our running back tandem, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson are really making things happen. They are lessening the pressure on the air game by pulling in big yardage on the ground. The run game as been disappointing since the Ricky Williams / Ronnie Brown days and in such a short time Jeff Wilson has really been able to impress. Great move by Grier and Coach. Mostert has been very consistent this year and with the running back tandem we have, and the improvements to the o-line, this offense is unstoppable.
Yeah, love that! And how can anyone disagree with those names. Seems an age since we were bemoaning the Chase Edmonds drops. We now seem to have a run game all within one trade. Well, one of a pair of big impactful trades. The shrewd move for Jeff Wilson and the big splash move for Bradley Chubb. What do you think we can expect from them both in the remaining games?
These moves are panning out so well already! Less than a week after being acquired, they were already playing to a high level against the Bears. Now even more so against the Browns. I am satisfied with both acquisitions so far. As we have said, it seems the Wilson and Mostert tandem is going to be fire. Chubb had some impactful plays during the Browns game and may be just what we needed to get the pass rush back underway and produce more sacks.
Yeah, that will forever be how the pass rush is assessed. And that is one area that our defense has particularly struggled. Chubb has to come in and make a difference to those numbers. With Ogbah out on IR now, this should give Chubb the reps his talent commands and give him plenty opportunity to get after the remaining QBs. The more he settles, the more impact we’ll see.
But I have to bring the conversation back to one man, THE man, QB1, Tua Tagovailoa. What are you seeing? Has he reached his best, or is this just a part of the journey?
I just knew Tua would shine this season. I was never one to doubt him. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was this team, and now that the weapons are in place, he is clearly experiencing more success. His stats don’t lie – he is on pace to be the NFL’s MVP. It also helps having two majorly successful WRs to throw to, both of whom are of MVP caliber themselves (Hill and Waddle). We’re starting to see other playmakers emerge as well (don’t sleep on Trent Sherfield) and Tua now has more options to throw to, and he’s taking advantage of those options. He’s playing lights out right now; super accurate, consistent, and avoiding interceptions like no other QB. His passer ratings speak for themselves. The fact that the Dolphins are winning games and scoring 30+ points in consecutive games shows us this offense is making big things happen, and Tua is the biggest contributor to this offense’s success thus far. He is poised and confident; this is something we haven’t seen in Dolphins QBs in a long time. Tua is definitely on his journey; he’s putting his best self forward and silencing the haters. Any doubters at this point are ignorant.
YES mate! What a hype answer. You have me buzzing, and without a game this weekend, that is a brutal place to be haha. But yeah, Tua is showing the Alabama Tua that we all fell in love with. The vibe of the franchise right now is bringing the best out of our QB, his supporting cast is bringing the best out of him but more than anything he is embracing all these aspects and fully taking advantage of this opportunity. We will find out even more about him and the roster as we get into the business end of the season.
So where do you see us after these business end games? How do we finish? Give us those predictions.
From the beginning of the season, I said we would go 13-4 and we are still on track to do so! I’m sticking with that prediction. Our last loss could potentially be against the Bills. It’s going to be a tight AFC East race to the playoffs.
I feel like that 49ers game could be a difficult one. But I’ll take a compromise. If I’m right about that and you’re right about 13-4 that means we win all the remaining divisional games and waltzing into those playoffs. So lets split it in the middle and each take the win haha.
Thanks for jumping on with me Allie, I appreciate your time and getting to chat with our FAN OF THE YEAR!!! Have the BEST rest of the process, continue to represent us with that energy and dedication and let’s cheer those Dolphins into the playoffs. Cheers mate.
So this is the part where I usually summarise and give my thoughts on the match-up… but there isn’t one. So I’ll wrap this up quickly.
It has been a LONG time since we had Miami in a position like this.
Embrace it, cheer them on and enjoy the ride.