After four straight losses, the Miami Dolphins are back in the race for the playoffs, at least for the moment. With a walk-off safety, the Dolphins ended a losing streak that dated back to September, and in doing so, they extended their playoff hopes.
Still, it wasn’t the kind of win that breeds confidence. After jumping up 17 to 3, the Dolphins slowly gave their lead, and the game, back to the Bengals. If not for a couple fortunate plays, the Dolphins would have dropped to 3-5, effectively ending any hopes of making a playoff run.
Still, the Miami Dolphins were able to make the big plays when they mattered most, including two interceptions that took points off the board from the Bengals. Although it may not have been the type of win that makes us think of the early season Dolphins that found ways to win their first three games, it’s a step in the right direction, reminding the team that they’re more than capable of beating some of the league’s best teams.
The ultimate difference in the game came in the turnover battle. Watching the game, the Bengals won more times than not in the trenches. Unfortunately, as good as they were up front, turnovers derailed an otherwise solid night.
On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins limited big mistakes and capitalized on the big plays. They were getting beat, even whipped at times, on the field, but on the scoreboard, they came out on top, and I don’t know anyone who would take a win in the trenches over a victory on the scoreboard.
The AFC playoff picture is a convoluted mess in its current state. There’s a handful of teams who should be high stepping it into the postseason, but there’s also a large pack of teams vying for one wildcard position. By topping the Bengals in what can only be described as an ugly victory, the Dolphins were able to keep themselves towards the top of that pack, meaning they can still bounce back and make a playoff run in spite of a terrible stretch of football.