The “Miracle in Miami” improved the Miami Dolphins to 7-6 on the season. And with that impractical victory over the New England Patriots, if the Dolphins win out, getting to 10-6, they could very well be in the playoffs.
How is that possible?
How does a team that lacks great talent, and starts a quarterback who most want replaced, find itself in a playoff race?
The answer is coach Adam Gase.
In his third season with the Dolphins, he has taken his team, one that doesn’t always look pretty, and turned them into a contender in December. When you scan the roster, most likely you, too, will wonder as well how the Dolphins are in the playoff race.
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Gase’s approach, direct and confident in his own abilities, has him among the best coaches in the league this year. That’s right, among the best.
Who saw this coming?
The Dolphins are 13th in my Power Rankings this week heading into a big game at Minnesota against the Vikings. If they can win that, they close with winnable games against the Jaguars at home and then on the road at Buffalo.
Is it possible they run the table? It certainly isn’t out of question, but just being in this position is impressive for Gase. All the talk about his potential firing needs to be silenced.
The Dolphins are in the playoff race. You might not have thought it possible, but I guarantee you Gase did, which is probably why his team is there now in the first place.
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They are the best team in the league right now. But they have to be careful or they could end up as a wild-card team if they don’t beat the Chargers on Thursday.
It took them some time to get untracked against the Bucs, but they had a good second half. They are back as the top seed in the NFC.
They showed the offense could be stopped by a good defense against the Bears. They need to get it revved up again against the Eagles this week. 2 11-2-0
What happened against Miami? That was a brutal loss and now they have to re-group against the Steelers on the road. 1 9-4-0
The addition of Amari Cooper via trade is already paying off in a big way. They should go on to be the division champs now. 1 8-5-0
That was an impressive defensive showing against the Rams. Can that unit carry them to a Super Bowl? 2 9-4-0
Pete Carroll should be in the mix for Coach of the Year. He’s done an amazing job this season. — 8-5-0
It wasn’t pretty against the Bengals, but they found a way. Now comes the biggest game of the year at Kansas City. 1 10-3-0
Their winning streak is over. But they still control their divisional fate. It’s time to get back on track. 4 9-4-0
After getting shut out by the Jaguars last week, Andrew Luck got back to his winning ways. They are still alive heading to a big game with the Cowboys this week. 2 7-6-0
That was a bad loss against the Raiders and now here come the Patriots. Ben Roethlisberger’s health is an issue. 1 7-5-1
Even after losing to the Chiefs, they are still the sixth seed right now and a half-game behind the Steelers in the division. 1 7-6-0
If they can beat the Vikings this week, look out. It won’t be easy, but they have a chance. 4 7-6-0
So much for all that money they spent on Kirk Cousins. They are worse on offense than last year. 1 6-6-1
They have a favorable schedule and could be a playoff team if they run the table. They just can’t have lapses like they’ve had on the road in the past. 4 7-6-0
How can they lose to the 49ers with the playoff berth on the line? That’s a bad look for coach Vance Joseph. 2 6-7-0
The Super Bowl hangover looks to be complete. The loss to Dallas all but ends their chances to repeat. 2 6-7-0
They are getting better and better as they prepare to make a playoff push in 2019. 4 5-7-1
They have won four of five games, which is a good look for the future. Saquon Barkley is special. 5 5-8-0
The defense just isn’t good enough, even with Ron Rivera taking over running it. They are toast with the loss to the Browns. 4 6-7-0
The decision to fire Mike McCarthy led to a victory, but the offense wasn’t much better. Good luck this week against that Bears defense. 1 5-7-1
Bengals They did some good things in the loss to the Chargers. But their season turned ugly at the halfway point — and they never recovered. 1 5-8-0
They showed some fight in winning at Arizona. It wasn’t pretty, but it counts. 3 5-8-0
This season is now officially a disaster. The injuries have just crippled this team. 6 6-7-0
They should have beaten the Jets, but they blew it at the end. Even so, they play hard and Josh Allen is their guy for the long run. 2 4-9-0
Three more weeks and they will start to look for a new coach. Who will it be? 5 5-8-0
So Jon Gruden can win a game? They finally looked good on offense in their upset of the Steelers. 3 3-10-0
Dan Quinn gets a pass because of all the injuries for this team’s slide. But the pressure will be on in 2019. 3 4-9-0
Big changes are coming. Will Doug Marrone get fired after the season? It’s looking like that could happen. 1 4-9-0
Kyle Shanahan is a good coach. That should come through loud and clear with his team’s upset of Denver. 1 3-10-0
At least they are still fighting. That should let Todd Bowles make it through the season. 1 4-9-0
With all the teams above them winning, they have taken over the bottom spot. It’s not good right now. 3 3-10-0