Yes, they can. But, it won’t be easy.
The Miami Dolphins are two wins away from clinching a playoff berth on their own terms, which would end a drought that stretches as far back as 2016.
However, after starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in Week 16, his future remains unclear for not only the rest of the season, but possibly the rest of his career. Regardless, with Teddy Bridgewater under center, the Dolphins’ playoff chances take a significant hit. As we’ve seen this season, this team simply isn’t the same without Tua Tagovailoa at the helm.
However, all is far from lost. In fact, the Dolphins still have the tools necessary to sneak into the playoffs, so long as some offensive adjustments are made. Head coach Mike McDaniel has struggled to find a “Plan B” at times this season, but I suspect he’s learned his lesson after suffering four consecutive defeats.
Now, McDaniel shouldn’t exactly flip the entire playbook upside down, but his hyper-aggressive coaching style simply won’t work with Bridgewater throwing the ball. While talented, Bridgewater’s best days as an NFL quarterback are likely over. In his last season as a starter, the Miami native tossed for 3,052 yards, 18 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and posted a passer rating of 94.9.
Teddy Bridgewater's stats this season for the Dolphins:— Sumeet (@flameosumeet) December 28, 2022
- 4 games
- 522 yards
- 37/60 (61.7%)
- 3 TDs
- 3 INTs
- 85.6 passer rating#FinsUp
However, although his arm may not be what it once was, Bridgewater is still one of the smartest backups around. If the defense is giving him the flat, he’ll take the flat. If they’re giving him the middle of the field, he’ll take the middle of the field. So, should McDaniel dial back his aggressive play-calling and keep the game simple, the Dolphins will be just fine with Bridgewater throwing the football. In the words of legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, “You’ll never go broke turning a profit.”
Simply put, getting back to basics will take this team far, and that includes running the football and utilizing the devastating speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Keep it short, keep it simple, control the clock, and perhaps most crucially, don’t turn the ball over. Get back to basics, and the Dolphins will be just fine with Teddy Bridgewater.
Do you think the Dolphins can make the playoffs with Teddy Bridgewater under center? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @thephinsider and @flameosumeet!