In early September, those around the league were talking about whether or not the Miami Dolphins were for real. After beating teams like the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons, who were considered playoff favorites at the time, the Dolphins were 3-0 and one of the top surprises early on in 2013. In week four, the tailspin began by a trouncing on Monday night at the hands of the New Orleans Saints.
The Dolphins went on to lose four straight and six of their next nine overall. Not only did the Dolphins endure a rough stretch in the win/loss columns, they endured a tough stretch within the locker room and the public eye.
Offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin each had a falling out with the team due to a case of what some called bullying, others called racism, and even then there were some that thought it was simply a regular scenario within an NFL locker room. In any event, there were profane words and racial slurs uttered by Incognito in the direction of Martin — for quite some time, we came to find out. Both Martin and Incognito are now not with the team any longer and the Dolphins are attempting to regroup.
That brings us to week 14 where Miami is now 6-6 and just a game behind the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. With just four games remaining, Miami faces three divisional opponents — the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets — as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, who are also fighting for that same playoff spot with Miami among others.
It is not going to be easy by any means, but over the last three weeks this Miami team has played very good football and even in a loss, they played the Carolina Panthers incredibly tough. If Miami can somehow gut out three wins out of their last four games, they would have a great shot to make the postseason.
A playoff berth would not only be defying the improbable, it would mean flattening the dramatic portion of their season by coming together as a team and making the best of a poor situation. The Dolphins can shut out all of the negativity, whispers and rumors by playing good football. It’s that black and white.
Miami has the chance to do something special, here, in the remaining four weeks. They are so close to a postseason berth that, at this point, they probably didn’t see coming a few weeks ago. But, alas, it is a reality for them and these four games will tell a whole heck of a lot about this Dolphins club. Can they manage a miraculous stretch over these last four games and launch themselves into postseason play? We’ll find out very shortly.