By: Jason Sarney
On the morning of November 7th, 2021, The Miami Dolphins had one lone win after 8 football games this season. Although they opened the season with a road victory against the rival New England Patriots, the Dolphins were looking at a 7-game losing streak heading into a match up with the Houston Texans, followed by a short week, primetime game against the Baltimore Ravens. Two teams which Miami has historically had massive problems with over the years.
Five days after a pair of wins, the Dolphins had three wins on this season all of a sudden, and just over a week after that, now sit at 4-7 after the road victory Sunday against the Jets. In a season that was once lost just two weeks ago, the Dolphins have three home games and a Bye Week on the horizon.
Translation – it is conceivable that Miami could earn a .500 record, heading into the Holiday Season, while not traveling at all for a month.
Stranger things have happened in this league.
This is not an article that's going to state that the Miami Dolphins are a playoff contender, which at the moment it would be foolish to say that they are, however…. math says that they're alive, and in the last month they have played closer to the team from last season that won 10 games. With enhancements.
So- am I telling you there’s a chance???
You’re Ducking right I am!
With that said, rookie defensive back Jevon Holland and fellow first year phenoms, Jaelan Phillips of local Hurricane pedigree, and Jaylen Waddle of the Alabama Football Factory, are saving jobs. They are also giving Miami fans immediate hope as well as a future of expectations.
So, what else is new?
I’ll tell you.
A new youthful exuberance that seems to be running through a wall, as opposed to hitting it, as many rookies and young players tend to do at this point of the season. Not only have these young studs been playing like Thoroughbreds lately, the veterans like Xavien Howard, Emmanuel Ogbah, Andrew Van Ginkel and Christian Wilkins are stepping up, heating up, and sending us all back to the Miami defense of just a year ago. Over the past six games, they have looked it. Top-10 nearly across the board in all pertinent defensive categories and keeping each of those half-dozen opponents under 400 total yards of offense in this stretch.
Speaking of offense, this is the time to Talk Tua Tagovailoa. Not only has he creeped his way in the Top-10 QBR leaders in the NFL, but he has also leads the league in 4th quarter yardage the last month and playing lights out when the lights are brightest.
It is a testament to the mental fortitude of this young man, who has overcome a career’s worth of controversy in just about two years, and one season of combined NFL gameplay. Despite injuries, two straight years of a “quarterback controversy” and even the dreaded and never-ending story of trade rumors, Tua has toughed it out. While the mystical creature in form of the elephant in the locker room apparently will not leave, Tua has been saying all the right things, and nearly doing all the right things on the field as of late. Despite a few troubling interceptions, sure, Tua has looked Terrific.
Speaking of interceptions, there has never been a 1-interception-thrown-road-win more scrutinized than the Dolphins win this past Sunday, in what was a true #MetLifeTakeover. Swarms of DolFans congregated to the New York City Metropolitan area thanks to the goodwill and organization of DolFans NYC. The fans, as well as those at home, witnessed a rising-phoenix of a season, in New Jersey, as this Fan Base once again has the most dreaded yet welcomed commodity of our football lives…. hope.
Yes, there is hope, and my hope is that the solid play continues, and the mistakes are corrected. Additionally, I hope this fan base continues to support this team, and each other, as I have seen over the past month. From PhinManiacs to all of you, #FinsUp, and have a happy and a healthy holiday season. Enjoy the run...and the sweet potatoes. Throw some mini-marshmallows on top of the pie, heat in oven for 10 minutes at 350.