On Wednesday’s episode of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, co-host Nate Burleson made an eye-opening statement. He picked the Miami Dolphins as the team with the best chance at becoming the next dynasty besides the Chiefs. Fellow co-host Peter Schrager roasted him for this statement.
On the following day, Burleson, while wearing a ‘Deadly Fins’ t-shirt, he doubled down on his previous comments. The former wideout picked the Dolphins as the team with the best chance for long-term success in the AFC East.
Many might say Burleson may need to get his head checked and that the quarantine has finally made him crack. Some of those people may even be Dolphins’ fans.
Let’s take a closer look to see if Burleson is on to something good or is in another dimension.
The Brady/Belichick Patriots Dynasty ran from 2001 to 2019. The Patriots won their Division every year over that span with the exception of two years where they finished second.
Did you know: Prior to 2001, the Patriots finished last in the division in each of the two previous years?
The Dolphins finished 2019 last in the division with a 5-11 record. Coincidentally, the Patriots finished with a 5-11 record the year prior to dominating the AFC East and NFL. In 2001, Belichick was coming into his second year coaching the Pats. Brian Flores is going into his second year with the Dolphins, with handpicked players to execute his vision.
Coincidences aside, what are the characteristics of a NFL Dynasty?
The last three NFL dynasties: New England Patriots (2001-2019), Dallas Cowboys (1991-1997), and San Francisco 49ers (1981-1994) all had certain things in common. All those teams had great quarterbacks leading the way. Joe Montana, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, are Hall of Famers. Tom Brady is a lock as a future Hall of Fame inductee. These teams also had masterminds as head coaches in Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson, and Bill Belichick.
These teams had strong philosophies. Those philosophies allowed them to sustain winning over years even as the role players changed. Not to mention that if the quarterbacks were considered Batman; they each had their Robins in a Jerry Rice, or Rob Gronkowski, or a Michael Irvin.
Now back to the Dolphins, do they fit this mold? On the surface you might say no. Their future franchise quarterback has not even taken a snap yet. Also if not for a late-season surge, they would have been the worst team in the league in 2019.
However, Burleson made a great point when defending his position.
Back in 2001, no one picked the New England Patriots to take off and they were sitting right where these Dolphins are sitting now.Nate Burleson – GMFB
Furthermore, the last two times (2007, 2015) the Dolphins finished last in the division, they followed up the next year with trips to the playoffs (2008, 2016). The Dolphins just couldn’t sustain the success back then. The formula is different now. The Dolphins did not go with quick fixes. The team is built to win now and set up to build on any success that is achieved.
So Nate Burleson believes in these Dolphins, and Miami fans it looks like you should too! Miami’s ‘Got Next’.