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Fins Aren't Meeting Expectations, They're Shattering Them

A Wildcard Team Has No Shot At The Super Bowl ? Don't Tell That To The Dolphins

Arizona Cardinals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

By any measure, the 2016 season has to be considered a resounding success for the Miami Dolphins. Already assured of their first winning season in nearly a decade, these mostly young, brash upstarts may yet be a long way from being through. Predicted by many to be a last place team before the season started, they now have their eyes on the postseason, and unlike many fans, they aren't planning on being 'one and done' when they get there. If and when they manage to crash the postseason party, they will almost certainly be a team that no one wants to play.

Even right here in this column, they were never predicted to get this far. But with their having already notched win number nine on the year, honestly, there really isn't a whole lot of difference between picking twentieth in the draft or picking thirtieth. Having starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill likely sidelined for most, if not all, of the rest of the season, and probably the playoffs, as well, also changes the dynamics somewhat, in our opinion.This is because, number one, it helps create that all important 'us against the world' mentality that Rex Ryan employed so well his first two years in New York - you know, back in the days when he was a head coach who actually made the playoffs. And two, because the dropoff from Tannehill to backup QB Matt Moore really isn't all that great.

Watching Miami crush their green and white clad nemesis at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night was a welcome holiday season tonic for Dolphin fans. Although the folks at NFL Network probably wish the game had been a little more competitive, at least the contest featured plenty of big plays. At least the Jets were playing with a lead for a time, to help create at least some degree of suspense into the third quarter. Moore looked sharp for most of the night, Jarvis Landry continued his penchant for making big, game changing plays and the defense, after a shaky start, played lights out once again. Second year corner Tony Lippett, for the second time this season, had a two interception outing.

We're willing to admit that the idea of trading Cameron Wake would have probably been ill advised if those who've been bashing the front office's signing of Ndamukong Suh two years ago will admit that it looks pretty good right now. At the risk of stating the obvious, neither player would have performed as well as he has this season without the presence of the other. Wake intercepted the first pass of his career Saturday night, and looked good doing it. The Dolphins are facing two pretty tough games the next two weeks: at Buffalo and home against New England, but if they can win at least one of them, they've got a real shot at a playoff berth.