We deserve this.
We, as fans of the Miami Dolphins, deserve to enjoy the fact that our beloved team qualified for the NFL Playoffs this year.
I don’t want to hear about how Sunday’s game was an ugly affair against a third string quarterback (who is probably the Jets’ best QB anyway) that allowed Miami to back into the postseason as the #7 seed with a 9-8 record after starting the season 8-3.
None of that matters right now. The only thing that matters is the fact that there is more football left to play for this season’s Miami squad. After everything they’ve been through — the ups and downs, the myriad of injuries they’ve had to battle through, the three and five game losing streaks, the national media calling for their injured starting quarterback to retire due to multiple concussions — this franchise, these Miami Dolphins, will be playing in the postseason for only the fourth time since the 2000 season.
Enjoy it, folks. Enjoy every single waking moment of this week leading up to the Dolphins’ road game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, because these opportunities are few and far between. We know that all too well.
Now, let’s take a look back at the Miami Dolphins’ Week 18 victory over the visiting New York Jets.
Jason Sanders nails all three of his field goals — including the 50 yard game-winner
It hasn’t been Jason Sanders’ best season as a kicker in the National Football League. If you had asked Miami Dolphins’ fans if they had confidence in the 27 year old heading into Week 18, you’d have probably been hard-pressed to find anyone who was willing to bet their paycheck on a Sanders game-winner.
Well, that’s exactly what happened against the Jets. And not only did he hit the game winning kick — from 50 yards out nonetheless — he also made his previous two kicks, providing the Dolphins with their only points outside of a lateral fueled safety as time expired in the fourth quarter.
Confidence is key for all athletes. Let’s just hope that Sunday’s masterful performance at Hard Rock Stadium gives Jason Sanders all the confidence required to continue nailing his field goals as the postseason progresses.
Miami’s blunders make Sunday’s victory more difficult than it should have been
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been forced to talk about Miami’s self-inflicted wounds costing them victories. This week, many of those miscues still showed up on game day, however, thankfully, this time they didn’t cost the Dolphins the win.
Still, those things will need to be addressed this week before the Dolphins travel to Buffalo if they hope to have a shot at a victory.
And even then, correcting these very correctable mistakes will need to be a point of focus if Mike McDaniel hopes to have a successful sophomore season as head coach of the Dolphins next year.
If it’s not a drive-killing penalty, it’s a snap flying over a quarterback’s head. If it’s not a silly challenge that the team will clearly not win, it’s an inadvisable fourth down try that gives your opponent the ball with great field position after the offense fails to convert.
As the leader of this squad, many of these gaffs can be laid right at the feet of Coach McDaniel.
I am a fan of Mike McDaniel and I believe that he will learn from his rookie mistakes as a head coach. Hopefully, as the team shuffles their staff this offseason, he can surround himself with coaches who have the experience in this league to mentor him in those areas in order to expedite the process.
Raheem Mostert leaves game late with thumb injury
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert had himself a great game against the New York Jets, rushing the ball 11 times for 71 yards — good for a 6.5 yards per carry average.
His day included multiple “angry runs” where he bounced of would-be tacklers en route to big gains on the ground.
Unfortunately, Mostert was unable to finish the game — leaving late with a thumb injury. He would watch the conclusion of the contest in street clothes alongside Tua Tagovailoa in the team’s entrance tunnel.
The Dolphins will need all the help they can get this upcoming week against the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, so getting Mostert healthy enough to suit up will be of the utmost importance this week for Miami.
Miami finished the 2022 regular season with a record of 9-8 and the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Were you more excited because of the win, or more frustrated that it came down to an 11-6 victory during the season’s final week after the team started with an 8-3 record? Do you give the Dolphins a chance against the Bills in Buffalo this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!