The boys in aqua and orange are on a roll, baby! After starting the season with a miserable 1-7 record, the Miami Dolphins find themselves sitting at 5-7 after four straight victories, with very winnable games on the horizon against the Giants, Jets, Saints and Titans before finishing the year with a home tilt against the New England Patriots – a team they defeated for their lone victory in their first 8 games.
Don’t look now, but with their defense playing lights out, Tua Tagovailoa playing very, very efficient ball, Jaylen Waddle looking like the next coming of Cooper Kupp, Jevon Holland and Jaelan Phillips coming into their own, plus the addition of some semblance of a running game... this team could make some serious noise down the stretch.
As a result, you’ll see some lower numbers on the MDDM scale this week. When I started this column, the Dolphins were in complete disarray, with rumblings – or sometimes full-throated screams – of the impending firings of Chris Grier and Brian Flores. While things haven’t been perfect over the last four games, winning masks a lot of imperfections. Are Grier and Flores safe or is there more work to do?
Let’s examine all of that and more in this week’s edition of the Miami Dolphins’ Doomsday Meter!
Brian Flores – Head Coach
MDDM Level – 2.0
At one point this season, due to Miami’s complete ineptitude against terrible teams like the Falcons and Jaguars, Brian Flores checked in at a 9.0 on the MDDM. At the time, most fans and media members were in agreement that Flores was on an incredibly hot seat, and that unless this season dramatically turned around, he would most likely be relieved of his duties at season’s end.
Well, things have dramatically turned around!
After winning four straight games – largely due to the defense performing up to their 2020 standards – the Dolphins sit in a prime position to end the year with a winning record. A playoff visit is still within the realm of possibility, but they may need to win out to make that a reality, as there are plenty of AFC teams “in the hunt” at the current moment.
Coach Flores could still find himself in the unemployment line if – and I’m knocking on wood here – Miami reverts back to their first half ways and they blow games against one, or both, of the lowly New York teams in the next few weeks, but for now, that MDDM number has nearly bottomed out, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Chris Grier – GM
MDDM level – 5.0
General Manager, Chris Grier, was everyone’s punching bag earlier this season. I’ll raise my hand and admit that I was one of those people who was ready to see Grier get the pink slip. And if you’re being honest with yourself, you were one of those people too.
However, with Miami no longer losing in embarrassing fashion week in and week out, and some of Chris Grier’s high draft picks playing like absolute studs, the cushioned seat in the general manager’s office in Miami Gardens is cooling off quite a bit.
Now, it is true that Grier still has to own the two wasted first round selections in the 2020 NFL Draft that brought Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene to town. Plus he also shoulders the blame for using a 2021 3rd round selection on a 5th tight end who can only make the gameday roster when another tight end is too injured to suit up instead of drafting a running back like Michael Carter or even using later picks to bring in other rookie running backs who have contributed elsewhere this season like Chuba Hubbard, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kenneth Gainwell, etc.
There are some who still want to replace Grier. There are some who want to give him another season in South Florida. To be honest, I don’t know where I stand when it comes to Grier’s employment in Miami right now. I am interested in seeing how the rest of the year plays out before coming to a final conclusion.
Jesse Davis – RT
MDDM Level – 9.0
Jesse Davis has found himself in this column a number of times over the course of the season, and I don’t mean to keep beating a dead horse, but...
There. Does that do it?
Now we should be good.
You know what’s not good? Jesse Davis’ play at right tackle this season.
Please, let it end.
Just this past Sunday, Davis’ impersonation of a turnstile cost Miami a potential three points on their opening drive when he allowed Brian Burns to easily sack Tua Tagovailoa, causing a fumble in the process. Luckily Davis recovered the fumble and instead of giving Carolina great field position, Miami was able to punt the ball away. But, seriously... how many plays like this do we have to see until Davis takes his rightful place on the bench?
Honestly, the only reason Davis remains in the starting lineup is because there isn’t anyone who can replace him and play better. Don’t mistake that as praise for Davis, however, as it’s really just an indictment on the rest of Miami’s options along the offensive line.
Have you seen enough from the 2021 Miami Dolphins to conclude that both Brian Flores and Chris Grier’s jobs are safe? If not, who do you replace? Do you have your eyes on any potential free agent or draft eligible right tackles? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below! Fins up!