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What Happened To This Once Promising AFC Team?

After a strong start, this AFC team went down the drain.

AFC

The NFL Playoffs are only a week away, and this AFC team looks on the outside looking in again.

The Miami Dolphins have not made the playoffs since 2016, and they will be keeping that streak alive.

The Dolphins started 8-3, and they looked to be a real Super Bowl contender, and they were even ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, who were supposed to run away with the division.

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Week 13 came, and the rest was history; they went into play the San Francisco 49ers losing 33-17, and they are on a five-game losing streak with also losing to the Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots. 

The Dolphins sit at 8-8 heading into Week 18 against AFC East rival, the New York Jets, and they will most likely be throwing out third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson to try to get the win and keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Mess Of A Season

The Dolphins had a strange 2022 season, even starting right after the 2021 season concluded.  

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The team fired head coach Brian Flores which was a head-scratching move, and then Flores ended up filling a lawsuit against the team for racism in hiring practices and saying that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross paid him 100,000 dollars in 2019 with every loss to help tank to get a better draft pick.

The Dolphins would go on to hire 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to be their next head coach, but there was more drama about to start.

The Dolphins got in trouble for tampering with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton who were both under contract with their teams. Still, the Dolphins talked to them about both coming to Miami for the 2022 season.

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The Dolphins ended up getting their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick taken away from them from the league, and owner Stephen Ross was suspended through October 17th and was fined 1.5 million dollars.

The Dolphins did make a massive trade in March, landing Kansas City Chiefs superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill in a trade where they gave up five draft selections. Hill has been huge for the team this season, and he is one of the main reasons that this team got off to a hot start and still holding onto their playoff chances.

The Dolphins also traded for Denver Broncos edge rusher Bradley Chubb in October and gave away a 2023 first-round pick from the trade with the San Francisco 49ers back in 2021 when they traded up to draft Trey Lance.

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Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins starting quarterback who was playing like an MVP candidate at points this season, has been in the spotlight going back to Week Three against the AFC East leading Buffalo Bills when he hit his head on the ground, and he got up and lost his balance. He was checked for a head injury and cleared, and they said it was a back problem. 

Four Days later, at Cincinnati for Thursday Football, Tua had a head injury again, leaving on a stretcher this time. He was out a few weeks after with a concussion. The Dolphins fired their team physician, who cleared Tua to return to the Bills game since everyone knew he had a head injury, but somehow, he was cleared to keep playing. 

Tua had another head injury in the loss against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day, and it kept him out of last week’s game and probably this week also.

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Final Thoughts

This could be the season the Dolphins got back to the playoffs, but we will have to see what Week 18 has in store for the team. If they don’t make it, then it will be a massive failure after an incredible start. 

Written By

My name is Danny Fisher, and I'm a feature writer at Stadium Rant. I am a fan of many sports from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College Sports, PGA, and whatever else is on. In addition, I enjoy golfing and doing other outdoor activities when I'm not writing about Sports.

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