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As the dust settles

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We've now had over a day to digest what went down on Sunday.  We now know that, yes, the Dolphins won in "un-pretty" - sounds better than ugly - fashion.  We also know that the Dolphins now control their own destiny.  Let's discuss further.

A SIGN OF PROGRESS?
The Sun-Sentinel's David Hyde wrote an article that poses an interesting theory.  Basically, Hyde says that these ugly wins - and we've seen 3 in the last 4 weeks - is still a sign of progress.  Here's an excerpt:

Because this was an easy game to sum up, if you want to get away from the over-analysis and over-complimenting coating every NFL game. Chad Pennington was asked if it was as simple as the Rams throwing three interceptions and the Dolphins throwing none.

"A lot of times it's as simple as that,'' Pennington said. "More games are lost than are won. It's not sexy for fantasy football, but for winning football and going home on the plane happy it's what matters."

"More games are lost than are won."  That's really an interesting quote by CP10.

Back in week 10, the Dolphins let the Seahawks hang around - partly thanks to a bad decision by Pennington resulting in an interception return for a TD.  And with 2 minutes left to go, the Seahawks had the ball and only needed to get into field goal range for the win.  The Dolphins, though, held on to win by 2.

The following week saw the Dolphins out-gain the Raiders by 183 yards.  But the Fins surrendered a late TD to the Raiders on a punt return.  It took a Dan Carpenter field goal with under a minute left to pull out this one.

And on Sunday, we all saw that, despite 2 interceptions thrown by Marc Bulger, the Rams had the ball with 2 minutes to go needing a touchdown to win.  Luckily, Bulger forced a pass and Andre Goodman made a play - picking it off and sealing the win.

To a non-Dolphins fan, it would look like the Dolphins are simply "lucking out" and winning games more so because of their opponents' ineptitude rather than their own performance.  Opposing teams, they might say, have been doing more to lose the game than the Dolphins have to win the game.

But us Dolphin fans recognize what we're seeing.  And it is indeed progress - even if the national media doesn't want to recognize it.  Because we all know that the Dolphins lost 6 games by 3 points last year.  And we know that it was just one year ago when the Dolphins were the team losing these kinds of games.  They were the inept team beating themselves.

What a difference a year makes.  So however this season ends a month from now, it's still been a 100% success.

GET EXCITED!  IT'S BEEN SO LONG!
When was the last time it was December and you heard the head coach of the Miami Dolphins say things like this:

"You try to tell them not to look ahead, you try to tell them not to do all those things. But you're at a point in the schedule right now where not looking ahead is kind of a ridiculous statement."


"We know that we control kind of our own destiny right now. At the same time, I've been in some situations where you need help, and that's not a good situation to be in. When you're in those kinds of situations, the best thing that I know how to do is to put your head down, eliminate the distractions and think about the now, what's in front of you right now."

That's right - that's the sound of a head coach whose team is playing meaningful football in December.  Not only meaningful football - in fact - but rather "destiny-controlling" football.

And you know what the best part is?  I haven't heard one single media personality outside of South Florida bring up the fact that the Dolphins - a year removed from a 1-15 season - could make the playoffs by simply winning 4 football games.  You'd think that would be a bigger deal, right?

Oh well - a couple of more wins and, once again, the Dolphins will be in the spotlight in late December for the first time since 2003.

Now all that's left to do is win.  Is it likely?  I don't know.

But why not?  Crazier things have happened.