Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miami Dolphins Go From Worst To First!

Happy days have returned again for the Miami Dolphins and their fans! A combination of new lifeblood instilled by first year coach Tony Sparano and a soft schedule left Miami with the opportunity to win the AFC East the final week of the season with a victory on the road at the New York Jets.

Even had Miami lost to Jets on Sunday as a fan I would not have been disappointed in the team. After seeing them go 1-15 last year I was just hoping to see them be competitive this year. The fact that they are entering the playoffs as a division champion is mind blowing to me because it was so far out of the realm of my expectations that I’m not even going to be disappointed if they lose to Baltimore this Sunday.

Now as Brett Favre ponders his future over the next several weeks it has become apparent that the real winner in Favre’s pre-season saga was Chad Pennington. The Jets clearly were done with Pennington and threw him away expecting Favre to lead them to greener pastures. A large part New York’s collapse rests on the shoulders of Favre who for whatever reason couldn’t resist throwing the ball to the other team the last five weeks of the season. Miami’s resurgence can certainly attributed to Pennington who provided stability and leadership to a position that has been lacking in Miami for a longtime. It would be a bit of a stretch to say that Pennington flourished in Miami but he did have a career year in passing yards (3,653) and finished the regular season with his highest quarterback rating (97.4) since 2002.

Miami finished the season by winning nine of their last ten games including the last five in a row with four of those being on the road. Now they’ll be home to face the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday in the first round of the playoffs. That is something we, as fans, haven’t seen since 2001. No matter how it ends on Sunday the Dolphins are winners in 2008.