Miami Dolphins End Five-Year Playoff Drought


John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Miami Dolphins running back Jeff Wilson Jr. rushes against the New York Jets during the first half Sunday.

Tommy Thornton, Sports Editor

The Miami Dolphins have ended a five-year playoff drought, clinching a spot in the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2016. 

The team’s turnaround this season has been a roller coaster. They started the season with a 3-0 record but they then lost three straight games to the disappointment of many fans. After the three consecutive losses the team had to switch keys to be back on the winning track. That’s exactly what they did. They were able to win five straight games but then lost another five. Luckily, they beat the New York Jets in their last game of the regular season to clinch the seventh seed in the AFC.

The Dolphins’ success this season can be attributed to several factors. First and foremost is the strong play of their third-year quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Tua took over as the team’s starter week one and quickly established himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league after poor talks of him in the off-season. Tagovailoa’s accuracy and poise under pressure have been key to the team’s offensive success, as he has thrown for over 3,500 yards and scored 25 touchdowns in just 12 1/2 games.

Another major factor in the Dolphins’ success has been the emergence of their defense as one of the best in the league. Led by Pro Bowler Xavien Howard, the defense has been stifling against the pass, while the runblocking has been tremendous being 9th in the NFL. The team’s strong defensive play has allowed them to keep games close, even when their offensive struggles when Tua was out.

The Miami Dolphins also had a strong leader on the field, the coach Mike McDaniel who has been praised by his players and other coaches in the league. He has set a certain culture of teamwork and accountability, which has helped to bring the team together and spur their success on the field.

The team also got some outstanding contributions from some key players, such as the running back Raheem Mostert and wide receivers Jaylen Waddle, and Tyreek Hill who have been key cogs in the team’s offense. Ahmed has been an efficient running back for the team and for Waddle and Hill, they had a pro bowl season combining for over 3,000 yards receiving. That is just the fourth time in NFL history. 

The Dolphins will now head into the playoffs with some momentum and confidence after finally getting a win and hopefully looking to get some starters back. They will be taking on the Buffalo Bills in the first round, in a matchup that promises to be a hard-fought battle. However, the Dolphins have already beaten the Bills once this season, and will be looking to do so again in order to advance to the divisional round.

Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, the Miami Dolphins can be proud of their accomplishments this season. After years of rebuilding and struggling, the team has finally returned to the postseason and has a bright future ahead. The organization has provided the fans a spark of hope, and they are looking forward to seeing them playing in the playoffs in the upcoming years.

As a Miami Dolphins fan, it’s hard not to be excited about the team’s future, with young stars like Tagovailoa, Waddle and Holland leading the way, and a strong culture of teamwork and accountability in place. The playoffs are always unpredictable, but one thing is certain: the Miami Dolphins are a team to watch out for in the coming years.