The Miami Dolphins are starting to look like a contender again in the AFC. It seems though they prefer the underdog title. Against teams of high-caliber, the Dolphins look superb. In fact, they look superior.
In games Miami should win, they look helpless and lost. Almost reminiscent of that 1-15 squad from a year ago.
In the games they've won, they looked nothing like the team who needed overtime to get their first and only victory.
Miami went into New England and completely humiliated the reigning AFC Champs, 38-13. They turned some heads, but not enough to be considered a legit NFL team.
Then after their bye week they did it again. This time they used their defense, beating the Chargers at home, 17-10. OK, so maybe New England wasn't a fluke. But still, this was Miami. They got lucky.
Luck had nothing to do with it. After two straight losses, the Fins bounced back nicely, beating the Bills at home, 25-16. They had beaten the Bills and the Pats, and yet still, very few considered them contenders.
Then, last week, the Dolphins swam into Denver and stifled a very good offense, 26-17. Now there are people jumping on Miami's bandwagon. Who would have thought?
At 4-4, the Dolphins are most certainly contenders. With a win on Sunday against Seattle, and a loss by all three of the other AFC East teams, Miami will be in a four-way tie for first. Wow.
This brings me to the point of the story. Miami must take advantage of the home field. After hosting Seattle on Sunday, Miami faces Oakland and New England at home.
At least two of those games should be wins. Seattle is struggling on both sides of the ball, Oakland, well that's another story, and the Pats are beatable. Just ask Miami.
It's vital for Miami to hold serve at home, especially against teams they should beat. They can't fall victim to the "underdog syndrome" as I like to call it.
Miami cannot play down to their opponents. If they do, they will not finish .500 or better. The remaining schedule is not difficult, with Buffalo, New England, and the Jets as their toughest tests. The Fins have already been beaten two of the three.
If Miami can use home field to their advantage for the next two games, they will sit at 6-4 with the Patriots coming to town. Anything is possible.
If not, then Miami could once again be on the outside looking in.