By: Tanner Elliott
Some people may be quick to say that the Miami Dolphins have won the past three games because of their quarterback change. Even before the bye week, Miami was not a horrible team, putting up good games against the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks and a convincing win against the San Francisco 49ers. However, since the bye week, the Miami Dolphins have been a force to reckon with.
Tua Tagovailoa has given the offense a much-needed spark, the defense is playing like a top five unit in the league, and even special teams have made plays when people least expected them. Although those things can contribute to a team becoming dominant, there is one factor that people may be overlooking when it comes to the Dolphins recent win streak…momentum.
The Miami Dolphins are a momentum-based team, and it has been shown to us more than ever as of late. Starting most prominently in the game against the Los Angeles Rams, the Dolphins looked to be in a shootout early on. But once Emmanuel Ogbah got a strip sack on Jared Goff and Andrew Van Ginkel returned it for a touchdown, the Dolphins never looked back. After that, the Dolphins had a punt returned for a touchdown, another strip sack, and an interception. All of that happened in just the second quarter.
The next game was against the Arizona Cardinals, and once again the Dolphins started the game off with a 36-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, setting the tone for the game. The Dolphins had few game changing plays after that moment, but due to how Miami started the game, they never looked defeated and even had a game winning drive led by Tua.
The game that shows how much momentum means to the Dolphins came this past week against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Miami Dolphins (once again) had a big time play at the beginning of the game when Van Ginkel blocked a punt and set Miami up at the Chargers 1-yard line. The Dolphins played with the same intensity they have been up until a mishap by center Ted Karras. This caused the Dolphins to turn the ball over in the red zone, which changed the whole dynamic of the game.
After that play, the Dolphins allowed more big plays, seemed more sluggish on offense and during this time is when the Chargers scored two of their touchdowns. It was not until Xavien Howard intercepted a pass at the beginning of the fourth quarter to revive the Miami Dolphins team as a whole and to close out the game.
Even though that does not fully prove that the Miami Dolphins are a momentum based team, it does make you wonder how the team would perform if those big plays did not occur or even went the other way.
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