MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been quite a turnaround for the Miami Dolphins this season.
Usually a new general manager, head coach and play schemes on both sides of the ball mean a period of adjustment and steep learning curve for the players.
That certainly seemed to be the case when Miami began the season by winning just one of its first five games, and that lone win coming in overtime against the hapless Cleveland Browns (who are still featuring a big goose egg in the “W” column at 0-14).
But something changed in early October. Something clicked.
Suddenly the Dolphins began reeling off wins, one after another.
Now here we are in late December and Miami is in uncharted territory.
Let’s look at the facts:
- The Dolphins are 9-5, which guarantees the team its first winning season since 2008.
- At this moment, Miami is in sole possession of the second Wild Card spot in the AFC and in control of its own playoff destiny with two games remaining.
- Over the last nine games, the Dolphins are an amazing 8-1.
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As impressive a feat as that is, head coach Adam Gase and his team doesn’t see it in the same light.
If you ask Gase, his coaching staff and their players, Miami went 1-0 last week. Now they’re focused on going 1-0 this week.
They aren’t worried about what happened before that and aren’t worried about what comes next.
Just win the game that you are focusing on this week and the rest should take care of itself.
“That’s been a great thing that our players have just embraced is let’s just focus on what we’re doing right now,” Gase said. “We play until somebody tells us not to. We just need to stick with that mantra.”
Seems simple enough, and the results speak for themselves.
With a win on Saturday in Buffalo, combined with a Denver loss at Kansas City, the Dolphins will clinch their first trip to the playoffs since 2008.
With such an incredible opportunity right at their fingertips, the players are not going to let the ‘what ifs’ get in the way of the task at hand:
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“We’re focused on one week at a time,” said quarterback Matt Moore. “I think guys understand the opportunities that we have, but we’re one week at a time, moving forward.”