The Miami Dolphins’ recent history is littered with tales of what could have been. Slow starts have been an unfortunate order of the day on an all too regular basis, with those splashing around in the South Florida shallows left forever chasing their tail.
Surges past the finishing post have helped to counter some of the disappointment at Hard Rock Stadium, but playing catch-up is always a risky business and has a tendency to result in collective lines being fluffed.
A burst out of the blocks in 2022, going 3-0 through the opening weeks of the season, delivered a welcome change of pace and hinted at better days to come. There is, of course, a long way to go, and betting odds are not yet favoring the +1800 Fins for ultimate Super Bowl glory. Support is being earned within sports betting tips, though, as prices shorten to +275 for a divisional crown to be captured in the AFC East.
Fending off the threat of a Buffalo Bills charge there will be no easy task, while taking your eye off the New England Patriots – despite their dip into an uncharacteristic transitional phase – is never wise. Straws in Miami are, however, becoming a little easier to clutch.
Big money has been invested in marquee additions such as Tyreek Hill, who must show that he is deserving of the terms in his eye-watering contract, while considerable faith continues to be shown in a promising QB1 that many had been quick to write off.
If the Dolphins can assemble all of the right pieces in a tricky puzzle without misplacing any in the treatment room along the way, then momentum that has tended to be built around the turn of a calendar year could be established before winter sets in.
Early signs have been encouraging, but consistency has proved to be an issue for longer than many on South Beach care to remember. It is only when acquiring that particular trait that the Fins will truly become a force to be reckoned with once more.
Mike McDaniel’s presence on the sidelines, along with his famously tactical brain, should aid a quest to get the right boxes ticked in Miami. He will know better than most, though, that record books are not weighted in his favor.
The Dolphins have struggled to secure play-off tickets in the 21st century, making their way to the postseason just four times. It must also be noted that their last three forays into win-or-bust action have resulted in one-and-out defeats in the Wild Card round.
You have to turn the clock back to 2000 to find the last time the Fins actually won a playoff game, against the Indianapolis Colts, with that campaign delivering one of only two divisional crowns in the same time frame.
An itch that has lingered for over two decades is there to be scratched and, having hinted at finding their sea legs again, it is now a case of sink or swim for Miami’s finest as they seek to bring a 23-year cycle to a close.