The Miami Dolphins will meet former head coach Adam Gase and the New York Jets in cold East Rutherford, New Jersey this weekend. With back-to-back matchups in Met Life Stadium against the Jets and New York Giants, the Dolphins should finish the “Met Life Takeover” 2-0 in the next two weeks.
For those unaware, Dolphins fans organize a Met Life Stadium takeover every year when they face the Jets. This year, nothing will change but the Dolphins will stay in New York (really New Jersey, as that’s where the facility for the Jets and Giants is located). These should be, and I stress should be, wins for the Fins. Weather is always an element in football, but the Dolphins will face two bad teams in consecutive weeks.
We’ll start with the Jets since the Dolphins play them this Sunday. They are a complete mess. Not only did the Jets lose to the Dolphins in beautiful Hard Rock Stadium when the Fins were 0-7, but they also lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, who were 0-11 just last week. Two winless teams beat the Jets and in impressive fashion. A quick reminder: this same Jets team beat the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas and the Oakland Raiders just a few weeks ago — this same team led by an “offensive genius” (have a quick laugh Dolphins fans) in Gase and quarterback Sam Darnold. If you want an in-depth breakdown of the dumpster fire in New York, I urge you to follow the Pro Football Network or Manish Meta of the New York Daily News. To the cheers of Dolphins fans, the crisis in New York is just getting started.
Something has stuck out about the Dolphins, even if certain writers don’t believe so: coaching. By comparison, the last three head coaches of the Dolphins — Tony Sparano, Joe Philbin and Adam Gase — had more talented rosters and were flooded with 8-8, 7-9, and 6-10 seasons. Anything can happen on any given Sunday, but this Dolphins team should finish 6-10.
While some media claimed they were tanking and “putting players at risk”, they weren’t. They were and are one of the least penalized teams in the NFL and have improved through the first three-quarters of this NFL season — all while having a roster made of mostly undrafted and waiver pickups such as Nik Needham, Vince Beigel (trade), Preston Williams, Jomal Wiltz, Sam Eguaven, Chris Lammons and Eric Rowe, a key veteran. You usually see tanking teams lose faith in their head coach around the middle of the season. But this Dolphins team starts over each week as if they were 0-0. After the win against the Eagles last week, what was the common theme you heard? The team is 1-0, and now a new week begins. They hit the reset button.
Right now, and this is controversial on Twitter, the Dolphins should win games. I’m not saying that getting the right quarterback next year is irrelevant or to wait till 2021. I’m saying that the team should continue on the exact path they are on right now: develop players, scout the waiver wire and coach their hearts out. Brian Flores, or Coach Flo, is a straightforward coach. He wants to win and he’s made it known. He’s pulled players who aren’t performing regardless of who they are. And he’s prepared his players for roles he knows they can succeed in each and every week. He’s done so even if it means learning multiple roles. Players like Eric Rowe have responded and balled out. Congrats on the contract extension Eric!
While draft positioning is essential, fans need to understand that this team has crazy draft ammo. Say it finishes 6-10 and picks 6-12 in the first round, is that all bad? There have been more talented teams in the past two decades to pick up flat duds and this team is winning with almost nothing. The Giants, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals all have quarterbacks. That’s five teams in the current top seven. Things, of course, get trickier once you fall out of the top 10, but the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles are prime examples of draft ammo. You see a QB you like and you trade up for him.
Call me delusional, but I would rather see this team win with less talent knowing that the coaching is where it needs to be. There is nearly $120 million in cap space and the draft ammo. If you want to hear more from me, click here to listen to the Any Given Friday podcast with my co-hosts Eric Wiedeke and Corey Ashburn.