Mike McDaniel’s dream is coming true in Miami


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Remember how you felt a few years ago, when it became clear that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs were going to be playoff contenders as long as they stayed together? Or the early 2000s, when it was clear that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady had found a way to kick the Patriots into higher gear than the rest of the league? Or, going even further back, when Joe Montana and Bill Walsh discovered NFL truths that future players and coaches still haven’t learned?

We wouldn’t go so far as to say that Tua Tagovailoa and Mike McDaniel’s Miami Dolphins are still there. But we will point out that no famous NFL dynasty – not the Chiefs, not the Patriots, not the 49ers, not Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas teams or Joe Gibbs’s Washington team, none of them – has ever scored as many points as the Dolphins. Did it on Sunday. It’s a shame John Madden was not present to call the game.

Miami’s 70-70! – Points scored against Denver rank third all-time in NFL history, behind only Chicago (73 in 1940, vs. Washington) and Washington (72 in 1966, vs. the Giants) and even the Rams (1950, vs. Giants) also behind. Colts). Now, let’s say, you need to run up against the perfect opponent, and in this case, Miami had the good fortune to attract the seafood-restaurant dumpster fire that is the Denver Broncos. why denver allowed The 70 mark is a completely different story, which requires a thorough investigation.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa laughs with head coach Mike McDaniels during their game against the Denver Broncos at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens.  (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa laughs with head coach Mike McDaniels during their game against the Denver Broncos at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens. (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) (South Florida Sun-Sentinel via Getty Images)

However, for now, let’s focus on Miami. How exactly did the Dolphins make a fellow professional football team look like an early season FCS opponent? How did a coach who looks like he should serve you lattes find something overlooked in a quarterback that NFL pundits described as too small and too delicate? How free agents, castoffs and trade bounty — like a steady-fleet receiver who really should have given up as he approached age 30 — coalesced into a force that swept his division, his conference and perhaps the entire league. Also given a new shape?

It’s extremely troubling for other teams that wish they could mimic Miami’s success, but the truth is that the Dolphins are a fully realized vision of McDaniels, one of a new generation of NFL coaches who Looks at the game. In several planes simultaneously. McDaniels has shaped Miami from a chuck-it-deep team into a multidimensional threat, using Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to set up the running game of Raheem Mostert and D’Von Achen, and vice versa.

What may make dolphins more dangerous than their workers is their memory. Last year, Miami started the season 8-3, and despite the fact that Tagovailoa often suffered serious injuries, the team felt like it was making generational progress. Then the Dolphins went winless from early December to New Year’s Day, going from 8-3 to 8-8, and that was it for Miami’s 2022 hopes.

This year, they’ve won games in widely varying fashion — big offense against the Chargers, precision given the defense against the Patriots, and now, tremendous destruction. McDaniels has studied under offensive talents for many years, including both Shanahans, and he is clearly developing a team without an easily categorized and countered identity.

Plus, McDaniels has unlocked the cheat code in Tagovailoa, who is releasing the ball faster and with more accuracy than almost anyone else in the NFL. This is a bad asset for you, and as a result, Tagovailoa is now the favorite to win MVP.

However, for all of Sunday’s astonishing statistical magnificence, the scoreboard resets to zero the following week. Miami will play Buffalo, Kansas City and Philadelphia over the next six weeks. Win two of those, and Miami will be an established threat. Win all three, and there will be a new top dog – or top Dolphin – in the NFL.


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