Monday, December 20, 2010

Dolphins Will End Third Best in AFC East

December 13, 2010

Dol-Fans at Sun Life Stadium were sent home once again with the taste of defeat ripe in their mouths after a sixth home loss by the Miami Dolphins. It was a statement game for the Fins; a statement that they are unworthy of a playoff spot this season.

Miami's AFC East rivals each dealt a final blow to the Fins Sunday afternoon: The Buffalo Bills (4-10) handed the Fins a loss, the New England Patriots (12-2) clinched the division title and the New York Jets (10-2) secured the second spot in the division as they seek a Wildcard berth.

That leaves the Dolphins as third best within their own division with only two games left in the season. Let's take a brief look at the state of the AFC East: 

Patriots Still Number One

Despite their young and inexperienced secondary and unproven defensive unit, the Patriots proved that they can still dominate in the league. New England holds the most points per game in the NFL and has made a habit of dismantling opponents with their unrelenting offense - something that the Dolphins learned first hand earlier this season. As much as Dol-Fans hate to admit it, the Patriots are still elite.

Even after winning three NFL titles, Tom Brady has elevated his level of play (perhaps aging for him is like wine, the older the better) and has made his supporting cast better in the process. Beyond that, it's difficult to fathom that the departure of Randy Moss made this team better (it just sounds wrong as I type it). Nevertheless, Bill Belichick continues to be a solid leader in New England, guiding the team toward the promised land just about every season.

Jets Still Hunting

For a second there it looked like the Jets were taking a page out of the New York Mets book and were about to stage a complete late-season collapse. Instead they ended their two-game losing streak this week in a difficult road game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Standing three games above Miami, New York is ensured second place in the AFC East - a consolation prize that many Dol-Fans would have liked to boast about.

The Jets still have one of the most feared defenses in the NFL meaning that if they were to make the playoffs, they could do some damage. Jets’ fans need to take advantage of their current +2500 Superbowl odds in the sportsbook!

Dolphins Still in Rebuild Mode

With expectations high entering 2010, the Dolphins 7-7 record is a huge disappointment for the team and its fans. However, a .500 record shows that the potential to contend is ever-present with only a few adjustments necessary. All it takes is one solid offseason to turn this "average" team into a playoff contender. And given this past offseason's success in acquiring Karlos Dansby and Brandon Marshall, there is legitimate hope for this franchise.

Owner Stephen Ross invested a nine-digit figure in the Miami Dolphins with hopes of turning the team into a winner. With that said, the past three seasons have not fulfilled Ross' goals and could be a catalyst for change within the organization.

Bills Remain Irrelevant

Do we really have to talk about the Bills? We will just because there is very little to say.

Buffalo is "who we thought they were" and earned its lowly spot at the bottom of the AFC East for yet another season. At least the emergence of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Steve Johnson and Fred Jackson have helped Bills fan stay entertained. But the fact remains that this team is still one of the league's worst franchises. Period.

Dol-Fans are cool with that though, they already have the Pats and Jets to worry about in the division race each season.

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