Your cheat sheet for the Dolphins' magical season
The Miami Dolphins are on an incredible run — winning five games in a row and looking like they can make some noise in the playoffs.
Why it matters: Fins fans have suffered decades of disappointment, and those of us who weren't around to see Dan Marino play have never been this excited by a Dolphins team before.
Yes, but: The real test begins this weekend when the Dolphins (8-3) head on the road for a trio of tough matchups against the 49ers, Chargers and Bills.
- If you haven't been following along, it's never too late to hop on the bandwagon. So next time you're at your local sports bar, keep these nuggets in mind.
Tua terrific: After a disappointing 2021, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has proved all the doubters wrong with his play this season, throwing 19 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.
- And that's after missing two games due to a concussion he suffered in late September that knocked him unconscious and sent him to the hospital.
- Just last year, Tagovailoa reportedly wondered, "Do I suck?" after an onslaught of criticism from fans and coaches.
- Now he's an MVP candidate who head coach Mike McDaniel believes in enough to put together a 700-play highlight reel to boost his confidence.
Cheetah power: Tagovailoa already had a great wide receiver in Jaylen Waddle, but Miami's signing of Kansas City's superstar pass catcher Tyreek Hill, aka "Cheetah," has supercharged this offense.
- Hill leads the NFL in receiving with 1,233 yards and may knock on the door of an all-time receiving record if he keeps it up.
- Waddle has been spectacular, too, sitting in the top 10 in touchdowns and receiving yards. (Plus, his penguin touchdown dance made it all the way to Antarctica.)
San Francisco connection: Miami's next game against the 49ers will be a reunion for McDaniel and Dolphins running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr.
- McDaniel spent the last five years with the 49ers — most recently as offensive coordinator — and he brought Mostert and Wilson Jr. with him to Miami after comparable stints in the Bay Area.
Thought bubble: The Fins have a 90% chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, according to FiveThirtyEight.
- And no matter what happens, watching this team play meaningful games this far into the season is all you can really ask for. (Well, OK. It would be nice to win our first playoff game in 22 years …)
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