On January 7th the overall feeling about Miami’s performance might have been summed up with an elegant “womp, womp”. Hopeful, but wrong. The Dolphins didn’t pull out the wins in the last 2 out of 3 games. Here we were again, wanting victory, but maybe not willing to make any bets.
Then it happened. Yesterday in that 3rd game against the Jets we won 11 – 6! A barely victory with a third string QB and missing some of the strongest players like Hill, Armstead, and Tua. It was like a football miracle. The Dolphins are headed to the playoffs. Amazing!
It’s only an opinion but the Miami Dolphins seem to have had a very emotional year. Long win/ loss streaks, multiple players injured and reinjured, odd chemistry between players on the field. We have to accept, that as unfortunate as it is, we are most likely not going to see Tua on the field the rest of the season, and with good reason. Some symptoms of concussion, like lower reaction times, headache, getting dizzy relate to incomplete healing. If any of that is going on, the man needs to be allowed to heal. Additionally a person is twice as likely to get a second concussion from even less , and concussions can reappear that were thought to have healed in certain cases. This is nerve wracking if your profession involves repeated heavy impact like football does. Success at this point demands the team moves forward with a strategy for the players they actually have on the field at this point. I think we saw more of that perspective change from the coaching staff and players this last game.
During off and pre-season the whole team needs to regroup to find their focus and confidence again, like we saw from them going into the 2022/23 season (and maybe also take a look at why so many players are getting and staying injured). They really do have all the athletic components of a winning team, even through such a “rough” season, players like Jaylen Waddle played with excellence no matter what was going on. So it really comes down to coaching, how the coaching is received, and the dynamic between the players themselves.
Next week against the Bills will be interesting to see how the Dolphins perform. While they of course want the win, the point has become more about how they will play who they’ve got to get that win. Bottom line is Miami will either adapt or fail. They keep on surprising so I remain hopeful.
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