By Javier Garcia, Sports Editor
It’s about that time again, not that I intend to make this an annual thing, it is just that this time around reflecting on this past season with the Dolphins, I feel the need to say that the same shameful expectations I casted last year have been far exceeded.
I’m sure you’ve all heard enough about COVID-19 but I just want to state it now for those who might not be as-informed of the state of the league this year, the Dolphins, like many other teams, faced roster deficits with players choosing to opt-out of the season this year in the wake of the pandemic. Namely in my mind, young receiver Albert Wilson, among others.
At the beginning, way before the very first game of this season was played since that is where much of my appeal to this year rests. In the first round of the 2020 draft the Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa with their first of the draft and fifth overall. Tagovailoa came to the team as the franchise rookie quarterback, backing up league vetran Ryan Fitzpatrick, having a sort of protege bond with him, but things like those aren’t exactly premeditated.
Dolphin fans all around accepted, some even hoping, for this selection by the team and have begun to look forward to the future that this southpaw might be able produce knowing he would come into the season benched, some even conscious of an old college injury Tagovailoa suffered.
The return of many players that have been injured moving into the offseason, some of them looking hotter than ever, players like Mike Gesicki, Salvpn Ahmed, Devante Parker, started to solidify an identity to the positions that’ll work around the QB like tight end and runningback. Week 7 came rolling around the team 3-3, and Tagovailoa is named starter following his very first shot at pro field time the week prior, throwing two passes to ice a win over the Jets. A d decision still considered, why throw in the young quarterback now and risk injury when Fitzpatrick is still somewhat afloat? Well, despite considerations, what can be said is that with the Defense mantling #1 Defense in the league and the offense finding it’s gears with the young gun bringing the team to a final 10-6.
Lots of promise was shown, and though they did not make it to the playoffs, they sure did compete like a team that could manage, with a loss as small as 33-27 against Kansas City and causing FOUR turnovers against reigning super bowl champ Patrick Mahomes. In the end their spot was up to a win over conference leaders Buffalo Bills and they did not clinch it, I look back at this year with much content, and even more anticipation for what follows as bonds grow more potent.