Surging Dolphins want to indicate consistency to finish 5-year playoff drought


It’s principally the midway level of the season and if the Dolphins (5-3) repeat what they did within the first half, they’ll win 10 or 11 video games and, more than likely, finish their five-year playoff drought.

With this being a 17-game season, if the Dolphins decide up the place they left off after Sunday’s 31-27 win at Detroit, they are going to have a reputable shot at an elusive postseason berth.

The Dolphins have missed the playoffs in 18 of the previous 20 years. They haven’t received a postseason recreation in 21 years, relationship again to a 23-17 additional time win over the Colts on Dec. 30, 2000.

With a positive schedule the subsequent few weeks (at 3-5 Chicago, vs. 3-5 Cleveland, vs. 1-5 Houston), they need to strengthen their maintain on one of many AFC’s seven playoff berths.

The mixed document of the Dolphins’ first eight opponents is 33-27 (.550).

The mixed document of the Dolphins’ remaining 9 opponents is 32-35-1 (.478).

The Dolphins, who at the moment maintain the No. 6 AFC playoff spot, ought to fare higher within the second half of the season.

But beware. The schedule on the finish of the season is back-loaded (at San Francisco, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Buffalo, vs. Green Bay, at New England and vs. New York Jets).

The mixed document of the Dolphins’ final six opponents is 26-20 (.565).

And the Dolphins, who’re 2-2 on the street, have 5 street video games amongst their remaining 9, together with a stretch of three in a row.

Still, the outlook is promising.

Tua Tagovailoa (12 touchdowns, three interceptions, league-best 112.7 passer score) appears to be hitting his stride after a two-game absence in concussion protocol. His three-touchdown, 382-yard efficiency in opposition to Detroit was his best game of the year.

“I was very happy with the way the quarterback played and the decisions that he made, just playing within himself and making plays when they were there,” coach Mike McDaniel mentioned.

Receivers Tyreek Hill (league-best 961 yards receiving, two touchdowns) and Jaylen Waddle (727 receiving yards, fourth within the league, and 5 touchdowns) have been nearly unstoppable.

The offense confirmed range in opposition to the Lions with a speeding landing from fullback Alec Ingold, receiving touchdowns from Waddle and tight finish Mike Gesicki, and what ought to have been a receiving landing for receiver Trent Sherfield (he was dominated down simply wanting the aim line). All are encouraging indicators.

“We had a bunch of key plays from Mike Gesicki, Trent Sherfield, [running back Raheem] Mostert, and then the play that Tua had,” McDaniel mentioned.

“If we can get that every week, that’s a winning formula. That is tough to stop.”

The protection, for essentially the most half, is making performs when obligatory.

The statistics aren’t ultimate. The Dolphins are twenty third within the league in yards allowed per recreation at 362.8, however they make well timed performs resembling protecting Detroit scoreless within the second half and getting two interceptions within the remaining three minutes to protect the Pittsburgh victory.

Dolphins followers needs to be optimistic.

Well, cautiously optimistic.

Significant accidents proceed to mount even because the Dolphins are getting more healthy total.

Left guard Liam Eichenberg was the most recent, sustaining a knee injury in opposition to Detroit. He was changed by Robert Jones.

The Dolphins misplaced security Brandon Jones (knee) for the season the earlier week in opposition to Pittsburgh.

All instructed, the Dolphins have misplaced 4 starters or projected starters to season-ending accidents, or for important time resulting from harm — Brandon Jones (knee), cornerback Byron Jones (Achilles), cornerback Nik Needham (Achilles), and proper sort out Austin Jackson (ankle). It needs to be famous Tagoaviloa missed two and a half video games resulting from concussion protocol.

And turnovers and penalties are nonetheless regarding.

The Dolphins are minus-3 in turnover margin, tied for twenty fourth.

The Dolphins are tied with Dallas for fourth-most penalties (55) and are ninth in penalty yards (416).

“You just have to make a point of emphasis, take each penalty individually and coach off of it, so that we can improve and not put ourselves in such tough spots on both sides of the ball unnecessarily,” McDaniel mentioned.

The floor recreation, which has proven indicators of life just lately by totaling a minimum of 100 yards in three of the previous 4 video games, nonetheless isn’t at full velocity.

The Dolphins are twenty eighth in speeding at 88.1 yards per recreation.

The Dolphins are sixteenth in scoring at 22.3 factors per recreation, and twenty fourth in factors allowed at 24.0 factors a recreation.

In factors allowed vs. factors scored, the Dolphins are minus-14. They’re certainly one of three groups to have a profitable document and be the wrong way up in that class, becoming a member of Tennessee (5-2, minus-6) and the Los Angeles Chargers (4-3, minus-25).

As for particular groups, kicker Jason Sanders stays 0 for 3 on subject aim makes an attempt of fifty yards or past however good on something shorter, and punter Thomas Morstead is consistently flipping the sector and serving to the protection. However, the Dolphins stay spotty in particular groups as miscues resembling Detroit’s profitable pretend punt maintain occurring.

But the offense appears to be getting right into a groove, the protection continues making performs, and most significantly, the Dolphins have a profitable document and stay within the thick of the playoff hunt.



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