The Miami Dolphins really out-performed the expectations put in place for the 2020 NFL season. No one really expected them, to do much. Yet, they ended up doing very well and nearly made the NFL Playoffs. Let’s take a look back on the season.
Dolphins Started Season Slow
The season started off shaky, as the Dolphins went into New England and lost. They played tough against the Buffalo Bills and were able to lead for some of the game, but Josh Allen couldn’t be stopped on this day. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like his former self against the Jacksonville Jaguars, leading them to a win.
How the Dolphins went into Levi’s Stadium and absolutely dominated the San Francisco 49ers is something I’ll never know. A 43-17 win saw Fitzpatrick throw for 350 yards and three TDs. Then, the game in which many people came to realize that this defense was for real, saw the Dolphins blank the New York Jets, 24-0.
Dolphins Transition to Tua Tagovailoa Following Bye Week
Coming out of the bye week, Brian Flores said that Tua Tagovailoa would be the starter going forward. His first game would not be one to remember, but the defense and special teams stepped up big time to get Miami the win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The following week they traveled to Arizona for a matchup with the Cardinals. This one would be a barn burner, as both teams would score 30 points. Jason Sanders hit a late field goal to put them up by three, and that would prove to be enough, as Zane Gonzalez inexplicably lost all the kicking power in his leg.
The Denver Broncos forced the rookie signal-caller into the worst game of his career later on, and he was benched for Fitzpatrick. The FitzMagic wouldn’t work this time, as Denver would pick him off in the endzone to send the Dolphins to 6-4. Miami would beat the Jets again the next week, giving them a real shot at the NFL Playoffs.
Dolphins Push for NFL Playoffs
Brandon Allen and the Cincinnati Bengals put up a little fight against the Dolphins until Tagovailoa turned it on and led the Dolphins to a 19-7 victory. The Dolphins had a tough test the next week as the Kansas City Chiefs would come to town. The defense played Patrick Mahomes very well, forcing him into three interceptions. That wouldn’t be enough, however, as the Kansas City offense could not be stopped for a full four quarters. The Dolphins would get their revenge on New England the following week, beating them and ending their playoff hopes in the process.
Then, in a game that has the potential to be the game of the year, the Dolphins went into Las Vegas to take on the Raiders. The game was flat until about five minutes to go in the fourth. After Sanders kicked a field goal to tie it up at 16, both teams would convert long pass plays. Because Daniel Carlson missed the extra point, the Dolphins led, 23-22. The Raiders would move down the field and run the clock down to 19 seconds. They kicked a field goal to take the lead, but FitzMagic happened next.
In one of the greatest throws in NFL history, Fitzpatrick threw the ball while being yanked to the ground by his face mask. Somehow, the pass found the waiting arms of Mack Hollins to put the Dolphins in field goal range where Sanders would give them the win, 26-25. his gave the Dolphins a Week 17 win-and-in scenario for the playoffs.
Dolphins Fall Just Short of Postseason
Unfortunately, everything would go wrong for Miami, with a 56-26 loss to the Bills. With the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts winning, the Dolphins would be left out of the postseason, with a 10-6 record.
With the No. 3 and No. 18 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins are ready to compete in the AFC East next season and beyond.