First an article claiming the Dolphins were an easy win during week 6:
A one percent chance to win their playoff game per ESPN.
It’s cold as in 10 degrees at game time in Pittsburgh.
While, the Steelers are savoring their matchup with the Chiefs in the Divisional Round, no mention of the Dolphins appeared in a graphic on ESPN where only 5 playoff teams were featured in the graphic. Did the Dolphins miss the playoffs yet again? No. The Dolphins have been disrespected as cast aside as pretenders rather than contenders.
There are two variables that the national NFL media points to in overlooking our 2016-17 Miami Dolphins: it’s cold and the Dolphins don’t have quarterback Ryan Tannehill as he has been ruled out with a grade 2 sprain in his MCL & ACL. In fact, the National Media fails to remember the Dolphins went 2-1 plus a save with the play of Matt Moore who threw for 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack. Not to mention- a reception in the baby delivery room the day after being named the starter for the season.
As Dolfans, we are tired of the BS that floods the headlines and discounts and disrespects the job that this coaching staff has done to propel the Dolphins to 10-6.
This blogger is here to tell you that the Dolphins season won’t end on Sunday and here’s why:
Five Keys to a Dolphins win on Sunday:
- Jay Ajayi: With the temperature hovering around 10 degrees, the Dolphins running back can run in any condition. We saw it on the damp turf in Buffalo and versus the Cardinals. Better yet, Ajayi controlled the running game versus the Rams who while they didn’t make it easy, he still earned some decent yardage and changed the pace when the Dolphins needed some yards.
2. Jelani Jenkins: Where has he been all this time? After missing seven games, the Dolphins linebacker has found his way back into his starting role and could loom large since he already faced the Steelers in week 6 and with outstanding results. Jenkins vision helped spark some quick tackling of Le’Veon Bell and could be the difference in the game should the Dolphins defense play better to stop the run.
3. Matt Moore: The Dolphins will have the signal caller make his 4th straight start after finishing the season 2-1 covering for Ryan Tannehill. Moore has started to show some escapability in the pocket and there is a strong chance that head coach Adam Gase will allow him that flexibility to extend plays and look deep when need be. With Matt Moore having four weeks of rapport with receivers, his comfort level should be quite high as his teammates have a lot of confidence in him to get the job done.
4. Kenny Stills: Stills has caught 9 touchdowns this season and it wasn’t on accident. He oftentimes got behind the defense on a double move and his ability to run and get under a deep pass made things easier for the Dolphins quarterbacks- Tannehill and Matt Moore. Stills has been the reason week in and week out that has delivered in making game-changing plays.
5. Head coach Adam Gase: Gase right now is playing with house money. Even though he has carved out a vision and culture, the Dolphins after starting 1-4 had a 5% chance of making the playoffs (FiveThirtyEight). Right now, Gase has his team in the playoffs and hungry for a big win on the road. If all three phases of the game play well on Sunday then Gase has earned my inspirational vote for coach of the year. Even if the Dolphins sputter in Pittsburgh, the way the Dolphins have carried themselves in wins and losses has been as a direct result of a culture change won that tends to win at all costs. The next man up mentality that Adam Gase has brought to the Dolphins is one that can be sustainable for years to come.
So there you have it. The Miami Dolphins have come to Pittsburgh to play and play to win.
This is like Vegas, and the Dolphins are all-in on the poker table. Chips are down.
All in for the next round.