It had been a long, long time since Miami Dolphins fans were able to enjoy a season as much as they did in 2016.
The Dolphins hadn’t made the playoffs since 2008, but they also hadn’t even finished with a winning record during that time.
Things certainly appeared to be heading down that same, dark road again when Miami opened the season with a poor 1-4 record.
Then suddenly things changed and the Dolphins began reeling off wins one after another.
While the season ended in disappointment after losing in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, just getting to the postseason is a big overall victory for Miami.
Throw into the mix that the Dolphins finally appear to have found their long-term solution at head coach and feature a roster full of young, up and coming talent and you’ll see why things finally appear to be trending upwards a team that has been mired in mediocrity for the better part of two decades.
Though the season is over, let’s take a few minutes and re-live all of Miami’s wins.
Between the big 200-yard games from Jay Ajayi, Kiko Alonso’s game-winning pick-six or the maturation of Ryan Tannehill, there were a lot of great moments to file away in the memory bank.
WIN #1- Miami’s home opener ends with an exclamation point as Jay Ajayi wins the game with an overtime touchdown.
WIN #2- Jay Ajayi’s breakout game of the season as he rushed for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game-sealing 62-yard romp in the fourth quarter.
WIN #3- Looking great in their throwback uniforms, Miami picked up their second straight win thanks to another 200-yard game from Jay Ajayi and the only 100-yard game of the season from Kenny Stills.
WIN #4- Every week the Dolphins had been getting big plays and this game was no different as rookie Kanyan Drake’s 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with just five minutes left in the game proved to be the game-winning score.
WIN #5- One of the most exciting games of the season ended in a wonderful way for Miami as Kiko Alonso’s pick six completed the Dolphins comeback in San Diego. The Fins picked off Chargers QB Phillip Rivers four times in the fourth quarter.
WIN #6- Miami’s two week stay in California ended with a great comeback win over the Rams. Down 10-0 most of the day and with an offense that had done almost nothing, Ryan Tannehill suddenly began moving the Dolphins down the field and completed a pair of fourth quarter touchdown drives capped off by DeVante Parker’s diving catch with 36 seconds to go.
WIN #7- The throwback uniforms were back for Miami’s return to Hard Rock Stadium. This time the big play of the game came as time expired, with Kiko Alonso and Ndamukong Suh stopping San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick short of the end zone as he tried for the game-tying score.
WIN #8- Backup quarterback Matt Moore came in following the injury to Ryan Tannehill and led Miami on a game-winning drive that was capped off by Andrew Franks’ 21-yard goal as the clock ran out.
WIN #9- Filling in for the injured Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore set a career-high with four touchdown passes as Miami handily defeated the division rival Jets to keep their playoff hopes alive.
WIN #10- Perhaps the most exciting game of the season came on Christmas Eve. After jumping out to an early lead, Miami came back and tied Buffalo with a big 55-yard field goal from Andrew Franks as the fourth quarter ended. Franks would then hit the game winner with under a minute to go in overtime. The following night on Christmas, Miami watched Kansas City beat Denver which gave the Dolphins their first playoff berth in eight years.