Dolphins Above 0.500 Next Season?

The Miami Dolphins are going to see improvement in the 2020-2021 NFL season. The Dolphins ended the season 5-11, which seems relatively bad at a 31.25 winning percentage, but showed extreme improvement over the course of the season. Week one against the Baltimore Ravens was a dreadful sight, Lamar Jackson and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown steamrolled the Fins 59 -10. Weeks two and three were even worse with, second year, Josh Rosen starting at quarterback. The Dolphins looked like possibly one of the worst teams in NFL history, statistically. Things changed though as Week six came along. Two of the worst teams in the NFL squared up in the Sunshine State, both winless.

The Turnaround

The Washington Redskins were favored by six points and they did not even have a win on their stat sheet! The game started as any game looked this season for the Dolphins… pitiful. Rosen and the offense seemed hopeless until Head Coach Brian Flores made a change at quarterback. Flores decided to bench Rosen and in replace, 37-year-old Harvard veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick started the 4th quarter for the Dolphins. Things looked different in the 4th quarter, the Dolphins began to move the ball downfield and with Fitzpatrick under center, the Fins led a comeback and scored a possible game tying touchdown with six seconds left, they would attempt to win the game with a two point conversion try but failed. Even though Miami ended up with a loss in the stat book, it was the first time they showed some fight. 

From that game on, the Dolphins began to be competitive with teams and in their Week 9 divisional matchup against the New York Jets, Coach Flores upset former Dolphins Coach Adam Gase 26-18. The following week Coach Flores carried the Dolphins to another upset win, but this time the Fish went on the road and beat the Indianapolis Colts. It seemed too good to be true, I couldn’t believe that the Dolphins were not the worst team in the league. Flores and Fitzpatrick would lead the Dolphins a few weeks later to a come from behind victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, where Fitzpatrick entered Fitzmagic mode and put on a show. The Dolphins would top the season off on a high note when the last week of the season came along. The New England Patriots were 16.5-point favorites, home, playing for home field advantage, and were the far superior team in every category, but sometimes things just happen. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Devantae Parker, the whole defense, and Coach Flores did the unthinkable. Tom Brady’s kryptonite struck again, and the Fins stunned the six-time Super Bowl Champion. Even former Patriot, Eric Rowe, intercepted Brady and took it to the house. This was, 42-year-old, Tom Brady’s first ever career pick six against the Dolphins. 

The Future

The Fins showed incredible perseverance over the course of the season and Coach Brian Flores deserved a nomination for the Coach of the Year Award because leading that poor team to five wins is extremely impressive. With 3 first round and two second draft picks this upcoming draft, I see tremendous upside coming, especially with Coach Flores at the helm. The possibility of, Alabama star quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa could be a huge addition to the Dolphins offense. In addition, the Dolphins are looking into the drafting a running back, which is highly needed when Ryan Fitzpatrick is your best rusher on the season. Mock drafts have shown possibilities of drafting running back D’Andre Swift out of Georgia. This team stills needs a lot help and has a lot of work to do, but the potential and want to be successful is there. Watching those games throughout the season were difficult but you could start to see the desire and drive to win evolve as the weeks went along and the coaching staff settled in. With a team as weak as that, the coaching staff had to adjust so much against other teams to protect their several weaknesses, that were constantly getting exploited by every opponent’s offense and defense, but Coach Flores never gave up. He continued to work with this team, trying his best to win games and giving it all he had. The future is bright for the Fish under Coach Flores.

Michael Kneuer

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