Who would've thought that the Miami Dolphins would be standing on top of a 9-5 season after such a forgetful 1-15 ending last year? I'm sure it was predictable that they'd do "better" than last season but they only would have needed two wins to be considered "better." After fifteen weeks of NFL football, we see the fruits of "A New Beginning" laid down by a revolutionized Dolphins front office and roster list. Starring down the last two games of the season, the Fins have a must-win matchup versus the Kansas City Cheifs before they can even entertain the idea of playoff contention. Only then can the team look forward to Brett Favre and the New York Jets and what could be the biggest rivalry game of the entire league.
The Fins have come off to a great start by surpassing last season's wins by eight games, with a chance to make it nine or ten. One must admit that Bill Parcells ("The Big Tuna") and Company have definitely turned this team around in a hurry. Beyond the personnel and player changes, there was an organizational attitude change where the team gained accountability and trust within itself. There have been plenty of "nobodys" that have come through and become "somebodys" this season, including Anthony Fasano, Patrick Cobbs, Lousaka Polite, and Davone Bess, to name a few. This isn't a "loaded" team filled with Pro-Bowlers and Championship Veterans. It took a collective effort from all teammates to reach the level of competition that the Fins have reached. It is a feat that deserves respect and accolades from people all across the league.
The next objective for the Dolphins is to face a struggling Chiefs team and come out victorious, as they are expected to do. Now's not the time to let a team with nothing to lose to play the role of spoilers. The Fins need to take this game as seriously as they have any game and play with the passion to gain a spot in the playoffs. With a win, they will extend their win streak to four games and have the possibility to play four straight games without allowing a touchdown. The odds are in favor of the Dolphins and the only thing left to do is allow the team to get down and dirty on the gridiron and play smashmouth football.
And then there was the division rival Jets and their new-found leader in Brett Favre. Favre has the chance to prove that he's "still got it," while Chad Pennigton has the chance to prove that the New York Jets made a tremendous mistake in dropping him. Not to mention, both teams are equipped with quality defensive units that have proven themselves all season long. It's going to boil down to turnovers and mistakes - the team that commits the least will most likely be the winner. The result of this game will be the truth; revealing the team that is most prepared to be a playoff contender. And since it's a division rivalry, there is no doubt that it is anybody's game - despite the Jets having home field advantage.
For Dolphin Fans, let's not get caught in the heat of battle and recognize the great season that this team had provided us with. Playoffs or not, this has been a season worth cherishing. Reaching the post season would only be "icing on the cake," as for now we can enjoy the "filling." Under the new Parcells administration I forsee a bright future for the Miami Dolphins - one which delvers a winning tradition, a memorable era, and a deserving smile on the face of Miami fans.