The Miami Dolphins, the #7 seed in the AFC Playoff bracket, is easily the most overlooked, dismissed, and underrated team in the entire NFL. Some of it is fair, no doubt. The Dolphins basically put themselves in that position, at 8-3 with lofty aspirations of winning the division and being the #2 seed or maybe even the #1 seed, the Dolphins season took that roller coaster descent that only the best wooden roller coasters can give you, seemingly straight down, with scary creaking noises all the way down. 5 straight losses that started on a west coast trip to San Francisco to face off against the 49ers, then to LA to face the Chargers. Those two games really had the team reeling, we were overmatched and outclassed by two teams I felt we should be able to at least compete with, if not defeat. We then returned to the east coast to play the Bills in a cold, damp, and later in the game, snowy arena, and our team unexpectedly handled the situation much better than expected, but we still came away with a very hard fought loss, albeit a close game defeat. The game that bothered me the most, besides the loss the Chargers, was the loss to the Green Bay Packers. Of course we find out later that our QB Tua Tagovailoa played the 2nd half concussed and that made everything much more understandable. Without Tua, the Dolphins traveled to New England to face the Patriots and as per usghe, our starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater was injured and couldn’t play the whole game so 3rd string QB Skylar Thompson had to finish, and the Dolphins came up short in a close game, but fell 23-21, to give the Dolphins their 5th straight loss.
Last weekend, with the playoffs on the line, facing the NY Jets, with backup QB Teddy Bridgewater incapacitated with a dislocated pinky finger on his throwing hand, the reins were handed to 3rd string QB Skylar Thompson. Time to release the venom coursing through my body, and welcome to the NFL Hype Machine. Clearly, the 49ers are a better team than the Miami Dolphins, their defense is a top NFL unit, and they also happen to boast plenty of offensive firepower with RB Chrisian McCaffrey, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brando Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle. The thing that has me burning is how they’ve portrayed 7th RD pick, #252 (Mr. Irrelevant) Brock Purdy, as the second coming of Jesus. I know he’s played well, in 5 games, for a really good team. I also know he’s helped his team win, and they haven’t won in spite of him. That’s because the Niners are a very well coached team. They have created situations for Purdy to succeed, and have shown confidence in him. This is precisely what the Dolphins need to do on Sunday. A gameplan that resembles the gameplan against the Jets will have us losing 31-7. We can’t win this game like we won the Jets game, because unless our defense steps up and shuts out the Bills offense, the Bills are likely scoring 30 or more points. Playing ultra conservative, trying to keep the ball away from the Bills just won’t cut it. We’re going to need Skylar Thompson to throw the ball, and I don’t mean be reckless, but we’re going to have to take some shots with our 2 most productive offensive players, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Back to Purdy and Thompson. I honestly don’t believe that that there’s a huge gap in talent between these two QB’s. Purdy is definitely one cocky son of a gun, and so far it has served him well, but I don’t think there’s a huge chasm between Purdy and Thompson. Shanahan is the master of offense, he has it in his blood. He knows how to wring the best of his players, knows he has to use his best players, and he showed confidence in his young QB and was rewarded. Rookie Head Coach Mike McDaniel is going to have to take that lesson from his teacher, and put that into use this Sunday. RB Raheem Mostert is not likely to play with a broken thumb, a huge loss for us on offense. Jeff Wilson can carry the rock with some physicality, but don’t mistake Jeff Wilson for Derrick Henry. He’s not the type of guy at under 200 lbs that can put the team on his back. We’re simply going to have to throw the ball, and get our playmakers the ball. I have to admit that it looks to me that Skylar is gripping the ball so damn hard, he’s made some throws appear as if he has an arm inferior to Tua Tagovailoa, but this kid can throw.
We’re the team playing with house money. We should be the loose team, the team that has no expectations, no one is giving us a slight chance this weekend, the complete opposite of how most of our season played. We have one game to get it right, to put everything out there, and I want us to go out guns blazing, not with our guns cold in their holsters. We will have to run the ball, and if we can have the success we had against the Bills in Week 15, then stay with it. Again, Raheem Mostert was the guy that day, so we will be relying on Jeff Wilson and Salvon Ahmed. Ahmed is a good receiver with quickness in space, so he could be a weapon for us this weekend. So can little used TE Mike Gesicki. We know Gesicki has shortcomings, he’s slow out of the gate, a long striding receiver who has little short area quickness and agility, but if you throw the ball up to him, I’d bet good money that he’s the one that will make the catch. He has strong hands, that big play against the Jets showcased that last week on the biggest gain through the air for us, a 32 yard pass play. Yes, he doesn’t get YAC, but sometimes you just need a catch, and I like him to make that catch. Coach McDaniel likes to take chances, he gambles a lot on 4th down, he’s going to have to let all the stops out Sunday to beat the better team, the Buffalo Bills. Let’s not have any regrets, don’t play scared, play loose, like you have nothing to lose, which by the way we don’t, because the NFL already has us losing.