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Miami Dolphins: Consistency the Model for Success

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As the title suggests, consistency wins in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Miami Dolphins, the team just aren’t that consistent.

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For far too long, the Miami Dolphins just haven't been consistent. This is not all about the first two games of the season. This is not about Joe Philbin's era of mediocrity. This is about a consistent period of time where the Miami Dolphins have consistently been inconsistent.

If you take a look through history, the best teams have been consistent for a long period of time. They have the right infrastructure in place for long-term, sustainable success.

Let's take Green Bay as an example. Their record is 104-55-1 over the last 10 years. Of those 10 years, they made the playoffs 8 times, during which they won a Super Bowl, made 2 trips to the Conference Championships and only had 1 losing season (6-10 in 2008).

How about last week's victors, and Miami's most bitter rival, the New England Patriots? During the last four seasons they posted consecutive 12-4 records. In 2011, they were 13-3, 2010 were 14-2 and 2007 were 16-0. From 2006 to 2015, they have been to 3 Super Bowls and 4 Conference Championships.

Now we turn to the Miami Dolphins. Over the last 10 seasons, we've made ONE playoff appearance back in 2008 when we lost to Baltimore in the Wild Card round. Our record is 67-93. The golden era of Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson are long forgotten. Miami have forgotten to be consistent.

And unfortunately, based on the evidence from the first 2 games of the season, consistency still eludes the team.

Granted, the first 2 games were against 2 of the best teams in the NFL. However, it's the manner in which these games were lost, and not the result, that gives cause for concern.

During week 1, Miami's defense were dominant. Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams and Cameron Wake caused Seattle problems all day long, while Jason Jones forced Russell Wilson into an uncharacteristic interception. Yet in week 2, at least in the first half, New England's quick, short passes meant that the Dolphins' strength - the defensive line - couldn't get to the quarterback. This exposed Miami's linebackers and secondary. Let us also remember that New England were without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski at the start of the day on offense, two of the Patriots' most potent weapons. Good one week, poor the next. This defense has yet to be consistent.

Paradoxically, the offensive line had a good day at the office against New England by protecting Ryan Tannehill very well. He had no sacks all Sunday. However, against Seattle, the same offensive line gave up 5 sacks. No consistency.

Then we turn to Ryan Tannehill. Before Miami scored a field goal at the end of the second quarter, Tannehill completed only 5 passes out of 11 for 52 yards and an interception, an interception where he seemingly threw the football right into the path of linebacker Jamie Collins with no Dolphins player in sight. During the second half, it was a completely different story as Tannehill rallied the team to within touching distance of tying the game with a hail mary in the dying seconds. Again, no consistency. If Tannehill cut down his mistakes during the first half, Miami could have won the game. Instead, he kept the defense on the field for far too long on Sunday.

After the game, wide receiver perfectly encapsulated the problem for Miami. He told the Miami Herald, "We can't be an almost team". "We can't be a team, ‘We almost won, let's build off this'...got to find ways to win the game".

Unfortunately for the Miami Dolphins, right now, they are an almost team, and until they become consistent, they will always be an almost team.

Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.