Miami is hosting the game as per the resolution approved by the clubs at the 2014 October meeting that stated that teams making a successful bid to host a Super Bowl would be required to host an international game within five years of the their successful bid.
The Dolphins have played three previous times in London: 2007 versus the New York Giants, 2014 versus the Oakland Raiders, and 2015 versus the New York Jets. Twice (2007, 2015) Miami was designated the home team. The Dolphins are 1-2 at Wembley Stadium.
Cameron Wake had never made the playoffs. The 34-year-old had never even had a winning season in seven previous years with the Miami Dolphins. Yet, Wake isn’t celebrating a 10-5 record that secured his first postseason action.
Credit coach Adam Gase for feeling out his team and making adjustments on the fly. Placing the offense in Jay Ajayi’s hands turned the season around. Realizing Wake could handle more reps than just the situational pass-rush role he had to open the year, energized the Dolphins’ defense. Wake and Jordy Nelson are the leading candidates for NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Culliver was released by Washington in May after signing a four-year, $32 million contract in March of 2015. He was free for the taking because he’s coming off of an ACL tear that limited him to six games last season.
The Dolphins desperately needed help at the position after offseason hype bunny Tony Lippett began losing snaps to Chimdi Chekwa early in training camp. Second-round draft pick Xavien Howard, expected to play a major role as a rookie, remains on the active/physically unable to perform list with a knee injury.
Speaking of Fitzpatrick, that should be it for the gun-slinging journeyman. It’s been a pleasure. Watching Fitzpatrick play when he’s rolling is akin to admiring a great playground athlete. He’s daring, with a vintage rambling quality to his game. But now, the team is 3-6. They will almost certainly miss the playoffs and fade into the background without much noise down the stretch. Unless Sunday’s backup Bryce Petty is entirely incapable, the team needs to discover what they have — and potentially activate 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg on game day to simulate a more intense preparation. The future is now.
Our resident scouting expert Bucky Brooks helped peg nicely the rise of Jay Ajayi this week, noting that the Dolphins scheme finally came to meet the running back’s desire to make one-cut attacks from seven or eight yards deep. That was evident when the bruiser put up 111 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown against the Jets on Sunday. While it wasn’t another 200, it may have been the most encouraging performance by the promising young power back yet. Ajayi showed Sunday an ability to roll with the punches early in the game and cheap jerseys and counter a vicious Jets defensive front with some smart, efficient running. He now has 529 yards and four touchdowns over his last three games.
The 27-year-old undrafted free agent signed a three-year deal worth $12.75 million this offseason after flashing good ball-tracking skills in two seasons as a regular contributor in Detroit.
Miami is already without strong safety Reshad Jones, who went on IR after just six games. When Jones and Abdul-Quddus were on the field together, they offered versatility versus both the run and pass. For a few weeks, the duo looked like it could become the best safety tandem in the NFL.
MIAMI — There are still plenty of questions for the Miami Dolphins to answer in a schedule that only gets tougher. They will be doubted and challenged, and it won’t be nearly so easy to find supporters outside the confines of South Florida. This is what happens when a team blossoms so quickly. That rapid evolution will leave many people stunned, as if progress is only believable when it’s easier to see coming.
The reality is that the Dolphins are legitimate enough when considering no team in the AFC is without its share of flaws. They’ve won six straight games after a 1-4 start and they would qualify for a wild-card spot if the postseason started today. So it really doesn’t matter if they’ve defeated only two teams currently above .500 on the way to their 7-4 record. It’s more important that they’re beating the teams set in front of them, and doing that in clutch situations.