Immediately after the final seconds ticked off the clock of the Miami Dolphins dominant 24-10 win over the Buffalo Bills, the television provided a delightfully telling Dolphins football moment when it cut over to the close of the Bengals-Steelers matchup that officially eliminated the Dolphins playoffs pipe dreams.
The moment of “I guess that’s about right” succinctly summed up the highs and lows of fandom for this particular team. I suppose I never really thought these Dolphins would actually make the playoffs, but I always hope they’ll eventually break their slump of missing the playoffs ten times in the last eleven years. It is a bit sad to realize that the Dolphins make the playoffs at about the same rate that people over the age of 60 get laid.
Hats off to Reginald Alfred Bush Jr., who at this point has surpassed Reginald VelJohnson (aka Carl from Family Matters) as my favorite Reginald of all time. His three touchdowns showed the Dolphins management that he wants to stay with this team, but since he’s been productive and exciting to watch, El Jefe Ireland will let him go quietly in free agency to a division rival. Remember, the front office asks that fans not worry themselves with “football decisions”, just to make the decision to continually pay for a mediocre product. This is what the team is, with four seasons in a row with a losing record. Mediocre.
Ryan Tannehill looked strong, making no major mistakes and throwing for two touchdowns. He seemed to want this game particularly bad, and he was being really aggressive and risky when rushing and not sliding like smart quarterbacks do. He almost fumbled out of the end zone on a superbly reckless dive. The coaching staff should remind Ryan that the last time a Dolphins QB pulled a stunt like that it was Pat White and he was concussed out of the league and still has to blend his morning Fruit Loops.
But the young quarterback’s development is still somewhat unsure. He’s completely dropped out of the conversation of star rookie play callers as three of the other newly drafted guys are possibly taking their teams to the playoffs. We won’t really know where Tannehill stands in the conversation until at least next season. I could see him developing slowly into a top 15 quarterback, maybe top 10. Let’s all just hope that his “slow development” ends up more like an Oscar-winning European film than the cracked and leaking bilge of a doomed luxury liner.
The New England Patriots! The last game! It looks like the Patriots have a shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which means they’ll be busting out the whole erector set for this play date. With the game in Foxboro, I figure the Dolphins put their best foot forward but still get blown out gracelessly by early in the third quarter. At least next Monday we can all get back to what really matters, which is hating Jeff Ireland and dreaming of a team we don’t have.
Nathaniel Sandler is a freelance writer and editor who also contributes to Red Flag Magazine, The Miami Rail, Allography, and the Miami Science Museum blog. He is the co-founder of the Bookleggers Library. Follow him on twitter.