Dolphins win more a pronouncement about Miami today, not death of Pats dynasty | Opinion
The temptation is to see this amazing, satisfying, hard-won achievement in historical terms. The Miami Dolphins eliminated the New England Patriots from the playoffs with a 22-12 win on Sunday, and everyone is rushing to announce the King is dead.
And long live the new king, because that could be the dolphins in a year or two after serving as prince at the court of the Buffalo Bills.
Yes, forget that.
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Because that statement may or may not really mean a lot in a year or two.
It obviously meant nothing after the December 2018 Miami Miracle, a stunning Dolphins win over New England that preceded three straight defeats. And it meant nothing after the December 2014 win over New England, which Miami followed with two straight defeats to end that season.
So don't go there because we know better. And also because the dolphins don't waste their time on empty exercise.
This game should instead be enjoyed on its own for what it means to the dolphins, not the patriots.
So now you ask the next logical question: what the hell does this fulfilled win over Bill Belichick's team mean to the Dolphins?
Let me start with the fact that the dolphin rebuilding, which will be so painful and stressful until December 2019, is exactly a year later on schedule.
Stop reading now if you disagree.
Because if you cannot agree with this basic fact, you will not understand the remaining 46 paragraphs in this column. (Disclaimer: There aren't 46 more paragraphs, I'm just trying to sort out the Riffraff.)
Friends, the Dolphins won their ninth game of the season on Sunday. They are guaranteed a successful season and they are on the verge of doubling their total number of wins compared to last year.
There is a word for that in my country: progress.
And with the season still weeks to go, this team may venture into the land of double-digit winnings for the first time since 2016 and only for the third time since 2008.
So, yeah, the Dolphins are ahead of schedule, what they set out to do when they pulled the whole thing down Spring and Fall 19 - and that was in preparation to compete for NFL championships year after year.
Owner Stephen Ross no longer wanted to ride the roller coaster, which included 10-6 heights and steep 6-10 drops.
He wanted 11-5 or 12-4 or better for consecutive years at the same time. You wanted that too.
But the logical assumption was that the Dolphins might bounce back from last season and make it back to 500 this year before making a run in next season's playoffs. That would have been a solid three year return on last year's painful investment.
Except that nobody told the 2020 Dolphins about it.
You don't work with logic and modest progress. They work by their own standards, which means they win every week regardless of the circumstances or the cost.
"I think we have a mentally tough, physically tough, resilient group that knows how to deal with adversity," said coach Brian Flores after the game. "[This team] doesn't go in the tank. Keep fighting, keep working. Keep coming back to work, good, bad, hot, rainy, whatever the situation. These people just work. Our coaches are the same, everyone in the building it's so.
“We fight against each other, players, coaches, support staff. We will continue to do so. That's one thing I know every day that everyone is going to work hard. I do not take this for granted, but I know it is. "
That kind of approach isn't sexy. There is no Ballers episode from the script that the craft dolphins play every week.
But the results offer their own excitement even when the approach doesn't, and even when the games don't.
I'm sure you weren't fired on Sunday afternoon when the Dolphins trailed 6-0 at halftime and the offensive had all the juice of a stone.
I'm sure you didn't think the offensive that Belichick just finished in the first half would bring you 22 points in the second half and a comeback win - and that without the best playmakers.
And here's the good news: The Dolphins could be a better team next week.
Flores said after the game that the starters who were inactive on Sunday - Ereck Flowers, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Jakeem Grant - were "hooking" on their game status.
"They were all around," said Flores. "These guys fight to play."
The last time Flores said something similar happened to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who missed a start against the New York Jets with a thumb injury. Tagovailoa played the next week.
So it can be assumed that the players who were almost good enough to play on Sunday will be in the line-up next week, except in the event of unforeseen setbacks.
That means there will be more talent available against Las Vegas next week.
After that victory, while some were dancing on the New England Dynasty tomb, the dolphins only shrugged to make such calls.
"Really, we just have to stay in the moment," said defender Christian Wilkins. "That's the biggest thing. Just keep worrying about every week, every game, and hopefully good things will really continue to come for us.
"I'm not necessarily worried about" Oh, what will it be like next year this year? "Do you know what I'm saying? I'm just trying to take it day in and day out and we as a team try to take it day in and day out and then good things will come for us if we just bow our heads and grind and just keep doing things right. "
Wilkins, a huge Hamilton fan, was dressed like the main character of the play during his press conference. So the man dressed like a founding father provided wisdom.
And it's good that it's only in his second NFL season that a player is fully immersed in what the Dolphins are trying to represent. That speaks well for the future and at the same time delivers a tangible result in the present.
Please enjoy this result regardless of the future.
"It's always good to win," said Flores. "That's why these guys shed blood and sweat and tears. That's why they prepare so hard and practice so hard and lift the weights. Not so much for me, but for this team and these players and the effort they put into trying Having stuck out there and running, I'm just happy for these guys. "
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