Here’s how you choose a quarterback. Here’s how to make you spend free-agent big money. Here’s how you build the offensive line.
The New England Patriots arrive at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday to school the Miami Dolphins in the regular season finale and for the 21st straight year the question is whether the Dolphins take notes. The scoreboard, once again, is irrelevant considering the Dolphins season and the latest quarterback era going along with it.
Schooling is in reconstruction this time. The Dolphins’ three-year — oops, make it four years — rebuilt remains a half-built home, while the Patriots rebuilt Foxboro in a heartbeat.
New England (10-6) continues to show Dolphins (8-8) how smart outfits work in a way that is either appreciative, jealous or projectile-vomiting.
Here’s how you build a stable coaching staff. Here’s how you help your young quarterback. Here’s how you make a running game.
Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh said there were only eight outfits you really needed to worry about. Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson said that except for a handful of teams, all would beat themselves.
Those ideas might combine to show why future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick enjoys being with the Dolphins at the AFC East.
The Patriots are off to the playoffs with their rookie quarterback Mack Jones, while the Dolphins say goodbye to the season on Sunday and perhaps their second year quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
Oh, it’s not an official goodbye to Tua. No one is announcing it. There will be a never-so-long-farewell-of-Wiedersen-goodbye scene from The Sound of Music.
But if you didn’t think the dolphins wanted to outrun Tua, you didn’t pay attention. Dolphins owner Steve Ross received permission to speak with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson at the trade deadline on November 2. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said to upgrade later (from Tagovailoa).
What Dolphins Think of Tua, These Are Not Bread Crumbs. These are hammers on the head. Many are locked in the idea that Tua would be an elite quarterback. Dolphins act locked in another thought. The key question ahead is whether Ross wants to make the player the face of his franchise the 22 sexual allegations against him at Watson.
Is Jones so much better than Tagovailoa? He is a 16th-ranked quarterback at Tua’s 19th.
Or is this patriotic outfit so much better? The Patriots have an eighth-place scoring offense. Dolphins rank 23rd.
The Dolphins have shown progress on defense against dwindling offenses in the second half of the season. He has a scoring defense of 16th rank. The Patriots have the best scoring defense.
Belichick also gave the dolphins the start of a race, the reconstruction. They won the sixth Super Bowl in the 2018 season while the Dolphins went 7-9 and then deconstructed everything, trading good players for draft picks, spending big money and getting four seasons going.
The Patriots went 7-9 last season after dousing Tom Brady. They didn’t go down two decades in a black hole with some Dan Marino hangover. He drafted Jones when the rest of the league left him.
He also spent big money on free-agent players like Trent Brown, tight end Henry Hunter and a pack of discarded Dolphins – guard Ted Karras, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive tackle Devon Godchaux. Yes, Belichick took Your Ann and Beat Your Ann to clarify the Bam Phillips line about Don Shula.
This late meeting with the Dolphins and Patriots is often an odd game of little local consequence. 2–11, the Dolphins, led by AJ Feeley, upset a Patriots team to the Super Bowl title in 2004. The Patriots’ Doug Flutie dropped an extra point in 2006 to end Dolphins coach Nick Saban’s first year.
Belichick awkwardly sat on a first-half ball to shrink a season finale and lost a season finale that needed to be won by Dan Campbell’s Dolphins in 2015. The Dolphins had a “Miami Miracle” side-happy game to give Adam Gase a reason to smile on the way out the door.
There are some common themes for this meeting no matter what the year. Here’s how you win, keep the Patriots schooling the dolphins. Here’s how blue-ribbon outfits work.
Here’s another irrelevant Dolphins Sunday where the Patriots advance to the playoffs and the Dolphins advance to Year 4 of their latest rebuild.