Hard Knocks: In Season With the Miami Dolphins premiered on Nov. 21, following coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and the rest of the franchise for the remainder of the season. The Indianapolis Colts appeared on the show in 2021, and the Arizona Cardinals had the honor last season.
They say the season doesn’t begin until after Thanksgiving, meaning that the Dolphins improved to 2-0 on the year with Sunday’s 45-15 win over the Washington Commanders. Tyreek Hill ran wild with over 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half.
Miami is a perfect 5-0 at Hard Rock Stadium and ends the year with four of five games at Hard Rock Stadium. On top of that, the Dolphins now control their destiny, ending Week 13 as the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
The Season Begins After Thanksgiving
Tua Tagovailoa is a big Christmas guy — playing festive music on the way to work! After two episodes beginning with coach Mike McDaniel, this one begins in the Quarterbacks Room.
Speaking of McDaniel, he preaches to the team about being 8-3 before falling to 8-8 and scratching for a playoff spot last season — and how to do things right in 2023!
This team has grown in 12 months, Hard Knocks taught us that much. We’ll see how much throughout this December stretch.
Andrew Van Ginkel starts to get some love
The episode highlights the addition of Jason Pierre-Paul after Miami lost Jaelan Phillips for the year. All signs point to JPP fitting right in with the group. In the linebacker's room, it’s hard to ignore the camera zooming in on Andrew Van Ginkel.
We get the AVG feature, highlighting his family and wife, Sam, dating back to their time dating in high school. The 2019 draft pick acknowledges the need to step up following the loss to Phillips — is he thinking of a pick-6?
Andrew Van Ginkel had five tackles, two quarterback hits and a pick-6… this is how close he was to adding a sack and a blocked punt to his stat line.— Jake Mendel (@JMendel94) December 5, 2023
This man was not playing around Sunday pic.twitter.com/Lk69s9QNDD
Mike McDaniel predicts 450 yards for Tua
McDaniel spends time with Dolphins’ CEO Tom Garfinkel discussing Tagovailoa’s mechanics — comparing a quarterback to a golfer. McDaniel also mentions how locked in he is, suggesting 450 passing yards against the Commands.
There was plenty of talk about Tagovailoa's three interceptions in two weeks and how he’s trying to channel his frustration with a hint of venom. In his fourth year, Miami’s quarterback is working to get better each week, and McDaniel is often there to remind him to work smarter, not necessarily harder.
Enjoy the rollercoaster!
To battle against the “No Fun League,” Hard Knocks gives us an inside look at Miami’s touchdown celebration planning — specifically this week’s rollercoaster following Tyreek Hill’s first touchdown of the day.
The Dolphins league the league in touchdowns, so it’s only fair that they have some of the league’s top celebrations.
Final Thoughts: Miami Avoids the 5-Game Losing Skid
Miami needs to keep its foot on the pedal. McDaniel’s message from Monday to Sunday was to learn from last year’s mistakes. This team was riding high at 8-3 and tumbled into the playoffs in the final week.
From Andrew Van Ginkel stepping up to Tyreek Hill and De’Von Achane scoring two touchdowns, Miami is finding different ways to win big almost every week. The Dolphins are the No. 1 seed in the AFC and play four of the final five games at home.
Miami seems to be improving each week. The defense has allowed four yards per play since Week 9, and the offense has scored at least 30 points in back-to-back weeks. At 9-3, the Dolphins control their destiny and seem ready to make the most of it.