For the first time in more than 20 years, the Miami Dolphins can say they’ve made the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
However, that apparently isn’t enough to inspire optimism about the team’s outlook among a section of the Dolphins faithful.
According to an SB Nation poll, only 43 percent of surveyed fans are confident that the team is headed in the right direction. That’s a steep drop from poll numbers earlier in the 2023 campaign when as much as 99 percent of respondents were confident about the direction of the team.
It’s disappointing how things turned out for the squad this season, especially when it seemed like Miami was on its way to finally becoming a legitimate contender. After starting the campaign 5-1, the Dolphins started to cool off a bit but remained in position to win the AFC East for much of the season.
Unfortunately, things came unglued for the team late in the campaign.
In Week 17, it gave up 56 points in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens to give the surging Buffalo Bills an opportunity to steal the No. 1 spot in the division going into their anticipated matchup in Week 18.
The Bills wound up winning the bout 21-14 after rallying from a seven-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. The consecutive losses caused Miami to slide down the standings with an 11-6 record and secure just the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.
As fate would have it, that meant a matchup against the Super Bowl LVII winners, the Kansas City Chiefs, on their home turf. The Dolphins haven’t won at Arrowhead Stadium since 2011, and that didn’t change after their meeting last week.
Miami couldn’t overcome the cold weather and vaunted Chiefs defense, putting up a season-low seven points. Consequently, it bid its hopes of making a deep postseason run goodbye.
It’s unclear how the organization will approach the offseason. But it has several holes to address, and there is clearly some pressure from the fan base to fix what’s broken.
On a positive note, despite ultimately fizzling out, the offense was stellar for much of the season, as it finished with the league’s second-best scoring average. In addition, Tua Tagovailoa was the NFL’s passing leader with 4,624 yards, and Tyreek Hill led the NFL with 1,799 receiving yards. So, there are still some sources of optimism for the Dolphins.