The Fins were winless through the season's first two months, going 0-7 through September and October. But it seems all Miami needed was to dress up, grab some candy and blow off some steam because, ever since Halloween, the Dolphins have been one of the hottest squads in the NFL.
They've won four of five since then, with only a one-point loss to the Dallas Cowboys marring the slate. Sure, the competition has eased a bit—Miami has handled the Kansas City Chiefs, the Washington Redskins, the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders in that span. Those aren't exactly a who's who of playoff caliber teams, but the wins still count.
Spurred on by the maturation of quarterback Matt Moore and the emergence of a rejuvenated Reggie Bush, the Dolphins are looking to spoil as many seasons as possible before Week 17 concludes.
That will be a tall order against Sunday's opposition, but only because the Philadelphia Eagles are already emitting a foul odor. The Dream Team has gone full nightmare, so there isn't much Miami can do to add to the misery.
Of course, every loss stings, and with these five halftime adjustments, the Dolphins can sprinkle a little extra insult to the injury that has been the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles:
1. Keep Testing the Every-Down Theory on Reggie Bush
One of the most obvious differences between the early-season Fins and the current iteration is the play of running back Reggie Bush. The rub on Kim Kardashian's ex has always been that he's not durable enough to run between the tackles and be an every-down back in the NFL.
So far in 2011-12, Bush is turning that reputation on its ear.
Miami might as well keep feeding Reggie—both on the ground and through the air—as he's been productive and the Dolphins need to make sure this isn't a partial-season anomally.
2. Trust in Matt Moore
Man, does that subheader look odd, but I'm serious.
The Eagles secondary hasn't been the ferocious game-changer it was expected to be. Whether the unit needs more time to gel or its in the wrong scheme is sort of beside the point—the unit is exploitable.
The Miami QB has flashed some legit skills and has a dangerous weapon in wide receiver Brandon Marshall, so I say let him air it out.
3. Speaking of Brandon Marshall
For the majority of the first half, the uber-gifted Marshall had but two targets and only one catch...which went for a pretty touchdown strike. I get that Brandon doesn't run the crispest routes and has suffered an occasional (or worse) case of the drops, but he's still a significant asset on the outside.
He's one of those bodies who doesn't need a perfect throw or a huge window to convert big yardage.
So use him.
4. No More Short Fields for Philly
Even with quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin back on the gridiron, the Eagles offense has been underwhelming to this point. The Miami pass rush has been harassing Vick, and the run D managed to hold LeSean McCoy somewhat in check.
In fact, it took a short field after a missed Miami field goal to produce the first Philly points, and that seemed to get the Iggles untracked.
If the Fins want to win their fifth game in six chances, they've gotta make the Eagles work for their points.
5. Protect the Pigskin
Do I really need to explain this one? Miami is playing good football and bringing the effort, but this is still basically the same personnel that needed eight chances to notch its first victory.
With that razor-thin margin for error, the Dolphins can't turn the ball over and hope to remain competitive.