5 Things the Miami Dolphins Will Have to Prove in 2014

5 Things the Miami Dolphins Will Have to Overcome in 2014

Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports

If the Miami Dolphins wish to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2008, they'll have to overcome a few "demons" in order to do so. For years, the team has struggled in certain situations versus certain opponents. Because of this, the Dolphins have failed to clinch a playoff berth over the past couple of years. Here are five things the Dolphins will have to prove in order to clinch a playoff berth in 2014.

5. Overcoming the New England Patriots

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
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5. Overcoming the New England Patriots

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
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For years, the New England Patriots have dominated the AFC East division. Along the way, the Patriots have dominated the Dolphins. Yes, there have been games here and there where the Dolphins have beaten the Patriots, but it feels like in every big game between the two teams, the Patriots come out on top. Since 2001, the Patriots are 18-8 against the Dolphins. In order for Miami to become a postseason team, they'll have to overcome New England.

4. Knowshon Moreno Proves to Be a Valuable Asset

Knowshon Moreno
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4. Knowshon Moreno Proves to Be a Valuable Asset

Knowshon Moreno
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The Dolphins signed running back Knowshon Moreno in the offseason. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas anchored a rushing attack that ranked 26th in the NFL. If the Dolphins are to have true success against the elite competition of the NFL, Moreno will have to be a versatile threat for Miami the way that Reggie Bush was for the franchise from 2011-2012.

3. Ryan Tannehill Becomes a Top 12 QB

Ryan Tannehill Robert Mayer
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3. Ryan Tannehill Becomes a Top 12 QB

Ryan Tannehill Robert Mayer
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In order for the Dolphins to take that step forward, they need their man under center to play like a franchise quarterback. It's no coincidence that the elite teams of the NFL have elite quarterbacks. The Dolphins will become a true playoff team when their quarterback plays to the level of the other signal-callers in the NFL playoffs.

2. Beating the Rex Ryan-Led New York Jets

Rex Ryan
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2. Beating the Rex Ryan-Led New York Jets

Rex Ryan
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Though the Dolphins actually hold a respectable 6-4 record over the New York Jets during Rex Ryan's tenure with the franchise since 2009, the Dolphins lost a huge game in Week 17 of the 2013 season when they fell to the Jets, 20-7. The Dolphins needed a victory over the 7-8 Jets to clinch a playoff berth, but they failed to get one. The Dolphins are going to have to show some mental toughness if they wish to go over Ryan and the Jets in 2014.

1. The Ability to Win Big Games

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
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1. The Ability to Win Big Games

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
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Over the years, the Dolphins have failed to win big games when they have had opportunity after opportunity to do so. In Weeks 16 and 17 of last season, the Dolphins laid duds versus two sub .500 teams in the Buffalo Bills and the Jets, losing both contests. If Miami had just won one of those games versus their AFC East rivals, they would have clinched a playoff berth. The Dolphins need to overcome their mental stigma of falling short in big games


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