Since the season started (and even before that), many just haven’t believed in the Miami Dolphins, not even a bit.
Well, that’s understandable if you’re expecting a team under reconstruction, which holds the second-youngest roster in the league, full of rookies and with a veteran quarterback who allegedly “lives in a permanent cycle” of winning, getting paid and losing, to start winning all its games against many of their best-ranked rivals.
First things first: yes, Miami is full of newbies, but what a bunch. All of them are extremely athletic, dynamic, able and willing to play different positions and learn from their senseis: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoda, for example.
Week by week we’ve seen diverse versions of the Dolphins: small and confused against the Pats, getting to know their roles versus the Bills, playing confident and strong to dominate the Jaguars, believing in Fitzpatrick to almost defeat the mighty Seahawks. And finally, a strong, united, focused group of totally connected guys, with a great leader to follow versus the 49ers.
This season’s winner will be determined by not only who plays the best, but also can better handle this abnormal situation and carry on. Miami has done this so far: few injuries, less COVID19 cases and just two opt-outs. While at first thought it seemed like the Dolphins would be lost without them, but it turns out they’re not.
Just to be clear: I’m not saying the Dolphins are contenders, although, I’m a believer, so they might sneak into playoffs given that there’s one more spot now. What I am saying, with all its words is that Miami’s defense is made of strong, smart players who are doing their job in a way they didn’t before; they’re blocking, sacking, intercepting, being careful with flags and covering their target. There are still some flaws, but they’re definitely working on them.
On the other hand, Miami has an offense. I have a single word: determination, its face: Ryan Fitzpatrick.
There’s Fitzmagic in the air
Fitzpatrick may be a 37-year-old veteran who’s saving Tua’s spot, but he’s killing it. He’s once again one of the Dolphins’ rushing leaders, is scoring at will, is throwing 70-yard touchdown passes and continues to put the ball in the hands of his receivers consistently.
What’s more, is that he’s a moral leader on and off the field. And he’s accomplished milestones no one’s ever had and seems to break a new record every week.
In Week 5, Fitzpatrick reached a 154.5 passer rating, which is nothing short of outstanding. The man runs, scores and catches his own passes just like Walter Payton. And most importantly, he’s done all of this with a Miami Vice, Academy award winner, rockstar on tour look and attitude, lifting everyone around him up.
Is it Tua Time Yet?
While the hype for Tua to get on the field is understandable, it’s evident that Fitzpatrick is the guy for the job for now, as planned by Chris Grier and Brian Flores.
Tua is the future, but the Dolphins are focused on living the here and now, so let’s seize the moment and the victory, which is totally legit in times of reconstruction and COVID19.