Now, we have come to the part of the schedule that will be the Miami Dolphins’ biggest test of the year. The Dolphins will be playing the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, and the Buffalo Bills to close out the season. It’s the part of the schedule that can make or break the rest of the season. The Dolphins need one more win to get them in the playoffs and need two to win the division. The Dolphins control their own destiny and that’s all you can hope for this time of the year.

The truth is a lot of experts and media don’t know how good the Dolphins are because they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. The Dolphins shouldn’t apologize for their record or the teams they beat because you play who is on your schedule and they can’t control how the other teams do. When looking at the top teams in the AFC, most people mention the Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Buffalo Bills. If the playoffs started today, the Bills wouldn’t be in, but it shows you how people feel about the Dolphins when they think higher of a team that’s not in the playoffs at this time. I get it the Bills have been here before, and they crushed the Dolphins in the first game.

The Dolphins are viewed as a finesse team. A team that wins by passing the ball and the defense does well against the bad teams, but when they go up against better teams, like they did against the Bills, Chiefs, and Philadelphia Eagles fold under the pressure. Are they right? Well, perhaps they are, but the Dolphins are going to have a say in it. The Dolphins must prove they are a team not only worthy of making the playoffs but also being a legitimate contender and so far, they haven’t proven that they are. 

The Dolphins have a Christmas Eve game against the Cowboys at home in the Fox game of the week, which means everyone will be watching. The truth is when the Dolphins have had their prime-time games this year with a national audience, they have fallen short in those games, except the New England Patriots game in Week 2. The collapse against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football a week ago didn’t prove any of the nay-sayers wrong either. The Cowboys are in the same boat as the Dolphins for the most part, with a similar stigma of not beating any good teams, but beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home on a Sunday Night game just a week ago. The problem is they don’t play well on the road as they followed that win with an embarrassing loss at Buffalo. However, most people might give the Cowboys the edge in this game because they have beaten a good team and on paper might have more talent than the Dolphins. It’s an interesting game between two good teams, but people question how good they are. 

Then the Dolphins go to Baltimore, who have the best record in the AFC, a tough place to play, but if the Dolphins have anything going for them in that game, it’s the fact that they won in Baltimore last year. The Ravens are a much different team this year than the team the Dolphins beat in Week 2 a season ago. They are much better at defense and more physical. Some of their younger players such as Kyle Hamilton have grown and become much better players and they have Roquan Smith running sideline to sideline, who they didn’t have in the 2022 game. On offense, quarterback Lamar Jackson is healthy, and he has an improved group of receivers to throw to.

Then the Dolphins close with the Bills, and they have had Miami’s number in recent years. The Dolphins are going to have to exercise some demons and prove they can beat Buffalo in a big spot. I live in Central New York, and I can tell you the Bills fans are so confident and cocky that they feel the Dolphins are going to collapse and they will take the division title from us. They have been playing some good football the last few weeks after stumbling in losses to the Patriots, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos. Honestly, who wouldn’t take the Bills over the Dolphins? The Dolphins haven’t proven they can beat them in a big spot, and they embarrassed Miami 48-20 in the first game. 

It starts on Sunday. Are the Dolphins a good team or just a flash in the pan? Can the Dolphins beat a team with a winning record that is going to the playoffs? Can the Dolphins match the physicality of the teams remaining on their schedule? So far this season, they have not and it’s time for the Dolphins to show what they can do. No one thinks much of the Dolphins and it’s time for them to show they belong as a team that can contend against the best and winning a couple of these games could go a long way to deciding that. If they don’t, the season in my mind, will be a failure.