How did we go from the media's favorite whipping boy to (in my opinion at least), by far the most over rated team in the league?
So, which AFC team will step up by the end of the season?http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Week ... ots-102312
The one team that was supposed to be the pits. ... The Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins were the laughingstock of the league a few months ago. Fresh off an offseason that saw Miami swing and miss at Peyton Manning, draft a quarterback everyone thought wasn’t worthy of top-10 status and fail to sign or draft a receiver worthy of an NFL roster spot, the Dolphins went on “Hard Knocks” and sunk even deeper into the depths of NFL fan/media public opinion.
Who cares that they boasted one of the most ferocious front sevens in the NFL or had a new coaching staff and offense built around their rookie quarterback’s skill set? They cut Chad Johnson! They let go of that “7-11” Chris Hogan guy! Ryan Tannehill didn’t know which teams played in his division.
Jeff Ireland, a guy who had “Fire Ireland” campaigns created online before the season started, is sitting rather comfortably in his supposed “hot seat” right now. Without any of the fanfare surrounding Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or even Russell Wilson, Tannehill has been better than expected in Year 1. He’s improved every week and has not only assumed a leadership role on offense, but has earned the respect of his veteran teammates.
Rather quietly, the Dolphins have strung together back-to-back wins. If the playoffs were to begin today, the team that no one expected anything out of would qualify as the AFC's second wild-card team.
Tannehill has been excellent and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has gotten the most of the team’s offensive players, but it’s the defense that has impressed the most. Kevin Coyle’s defensive scheme is not particularly complex, but it maximizes a beefy front seven that’s given opposing offenses fits.
After struggling out of the gate to stop Arian Foster and the Texans' run offense in Week 1, the Dolphins have put the clamps on opposing ground games. The Dolphins rank fourth in the league against the rush and have held their last five opponents to 21 points or less. Had it not been for two tough overtime losses to the Jets and Cardinals, this team would be 5-1 on a five-game winning streak heading into Week 8.
They travel to New York to play the rival Jets this Sunday ... and the Dolphins are a three-point underdogs.
I’ll take the Dolphins. That D, the coaching, the rookie quarterback, a roster devoid of ego and yes — that GM — have all had the golden touch this season. Naysayers and “Hard Knocks” aficionados be damned, the Dolphins are playing good football these days.
If they keep it up, they might be my team to beat in the AFC from here on out.
Hey, there certainly aren’t many alternatives.