7. Because Ryan Tannehill Is On His Way to a Career Year, Which Is Kind of Bananas When You Think About It Yes, he locks in on receivers. Yes, his accuracy is maddening. Yes, he tends to brain-fart up a storm from time to time. Yes, he has toes for thumbs. But Ryan Tannehill is slowly coming out of the vanilla fog and putting together quite the impressive third year.
We still don't know if he's the long-term answer at QB this team has been looking for since Dan Marino hung 'em up. But, you have to at least like that he's not stagnant.
#Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill on pace for career bests in completion rate (63.3), QB rating (87.8), TD-INT ratio (27:14), rushing yards (400).— Evan Silva (@evansilva) October 21, 2014
That's pretty impressive. Even more so when you consider how he started this season with his own head coach doubting his abilities.
And yes, his deep-ball passes still look like a ziplock bag filled with piss. But what he lacks in a dynamic arm, he makes up with athleticism and an accurate short ball. He's basically Chad Pennington, only with real-human bones for a skeleton.
6. Because the Remaining Schedule Really Isn't That Bad, Maybe This is where shit can get tricky, but look at the remaining schedule.
This week against the barely-a-football-team Jaguars, followed by the Chargers, Lions, and Bills. No cakewalk, sure. But all beatable teams.
Then, the Fins face off against the Broncos (OK, yes, that's a loss), then the Jets, and then the Ravens. The Ravens have always been a major pain in Miami's ass, but this game is at home, and Baltimore is beatable.
Then Miami goes to New England where the AFC East could very well be decided.
Of course, all this is dependent on the Dolphins not Dolphining all over themselves against the more winnable games so that they can set themselves up for that Patriots showdown.
Wishful thinking? Sure. But we're going with it, so you should join us!
5. Because the Running Game Is Quietly Kicking Ass Don't look now, but the Miami Dolphins' running game is kind of kicking all of the ass lately. And that's with their main running back out for the year.
Last season, the Dolphins averaged about 90 yards a game, which is why they sucked so much ass. But this year, they've been plowing through defenses at 136.3 yards a game, which is nearly 50 more yards than they averaged last season. That's good enough for fourth best in the NFL thus far.
Losing Knowshon Moreno for the season was a crappy thing. But Lamar Miller is showing he can handle the rock as long as the offensive scheme works with his skill set. Miller is small, but he's fast. And the improved play of the offensive line is opening up gaping holes for him to gash defenses with.
Of course, we still have Daniel Thomas. So let's all sacrifice a couple of live chickens to make sure Lamar doesn't get hurt this year.
4. Because Bill Lazor Might Be Onto Something, Maybe Bill Lazor's offense has taken some time to get rolling. But we've seen lately that an innovative offense (i.e., one that throws the ball and doesn't get cute) can be an ass-wrecking one. Unlike offensive coordinators of old, Lazor seems to know how to best utilize his players' skill sets. He doesn't treat Lamar Miller like a bruising back. He gets Tannehill on the move. He doesn't force things downfield. Sure, there's the occasional brain-fart play call, and Joe Philbin's derpiness is always a liability. But Lazor's offense has the Fins moving in the right direction.