By Stephen Diener
Miami Dolphins fans finally get to celebrate a playoff birth today after their 11-6 win over the Jets and the Patriots lost to the Bills. It’s the first time Miami has made it to the playoffs since Ryan Tannehill was the starting quarterback back during the 2016 season.
Also, for the first time since 1999, all three Florida NFL teams will be in the playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars clinched Saturday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did so last week. The Jags will host the LA Chargers Saturday night. The Dolphins will play at Buffalo Sunday afternoon, and the Buccaneers will host Dallas Monday night.
It has not been an easy journey for the Fins to make it this far. They started off the season with a 3 game winning streak only to be followed by a 3 game losing streak after Tua suffered his first concussion of the season during that Thursday night football game at Cincinnati. They then went on a 5 game winning streak after Tua’s return and had everyone thinking about a possible number 1 seed as they sat at 8-3 on the season.
All was well as Miami headed into December, but that’s when everything went wrong. Another losing streak, this time 5 games, and another concussion for Tua who was having an MVP caliber season. The Dolphins sat at 8-8 coming into Sunday’s game needing a win against their old rival New York Jets to finish off the season along with a Patriots loss at the Bills in order to make the post season.
It was a lot to ask for the rookie QB Skylar Thompson to lead Miami to a victory with Tua still in concussion protocol and Teddy Bridgewater out with a broken finger on his throwing hand, but in the end, he helped to do just that. Credit also goes to the Dolphins defense for holding Joe Flacco and the Jets to only 6 points, as well as Jason Sanders who has been heavily criticized this season for his missed field goals, but in the end made the game and playoff clinching kick from 50 yards out.
Miami will now prepare for another AFC East rival, they will travel as the 7 seed to Buffalo to face off against the 2 seeded Bills in the Wild Card round next weekend. Of course, the health of Tua and other key players will be the big question leading into that round one game, but the fact of the matter is the Miami Dolphins are finally back in the post season!
Celebrate Dolfans, it’s a good day.