Are the Dolphins Real Contenders?
The Miami Dolphins suffered a 21-14 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt, Germany. While it is never a shame to lose to the Chiefs, it is another blown opportunity by the Dolphins to prove they can beat one of the NFL’s elite teams. The Dolphins are now 6-3 on the year, and all three of their losses have come against teams with winning records.
A big positive for the Dolphins despite losing was their ability to stay in the game until the end after going into halftime with a 21-0 deficit. It looked like the game had the potential to get ugly for them, but they hung in there. I was impressed by their defense in the second half. They were able to keep the Dolphins in the game and forced a fumble by Patrick Mahomes. They also held Mahomes to his season-low in passing yards with 185. Everyone knows that when the Dolphins are rolling on offense, they can humiliate opponents. The thing is, December and January football isn’t about being flashy and electric. It’s about being tough and having your best players step up. I think they’re a good team, with a great coach and some special players, but the sample size is growing that they can’t beat good teams, and that needs to change if they want to be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender.
Eagles Outlast Cowboys
In Week 9’s marquee matchup, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 28-23. Going into the game, I felt like it was a bigger game for the Cowboys. Similarly to the Dolphins, the Cowboys have feasted on weaker teams, but have struggled against the best teams. The last time the Cowboys played another team that is considered elite, was their embarrassing 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. While I wouldn’t consider this a morale victory, the Cowboys can still feel good about themselves coming out of this loss.
First off they showed some backbone and competed with Philadelphia in a tough road environment until the very end when at times I thought the game could get away from them. Dak Prescott was once again sensational and has been on a roll the last few weeks. Prescott completed 29 of 44 passes, threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns. CeeDee Lamb is playing the best football of his Cowboys’ career and he had another monster game with 11 catches for 191 yards.
The thing that cost the Cowboys is unfortunately something that seems to always ail them in big games, their boneheadedness. In this game, it was things like penalties, sacks taken, a catch on fourth and goal that was just short of the goaline and Prescott stepping out of bounds just before he was about to convert a two-point attempt. While some of these things were just marginal errors, against the best teams, those are what get you beat, and the Cowboys tend to be the ones making those mistakes far too often.
Shout Out to the Texans
The feel-good story of the NFL season thus far has been the Houston Texans. After a few years of turmoil, it’s nice to see them have a young team led by a young coach in DeMeco Ryans that Texans fans can be excited about. The fact that they are 4-4 and actually have a chance at making the playoffs in the AFC when you look at their remaining schedule is remarkable. Along with Ryans changing the culture in Houston, the most important thing for the Texans was to see what they had with CJ Stroud.
Through eight games, it seems like they have found their guy at the quarterback position for years to come. Stroud has thrown for 14 touchdowns, one interception and has a quarterback rating of 102.9. Sunday’s 37-33 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the best of his young career as he completed 30 of 42 passes, threw for 470 yards and five touchdowns, which included a game-winning touchdown pass to Tank Dell with six seconds left. Stroud’s 470 passing yards also broke the NFL single-game rookie passing record. Whether the Texans make the playoffs or not, it’s going to be hard not to be excited about their future.
Header Photo: “I’m a football player, not a test taker,” Stroud said about his reported low score on the S2 cognition test during the draft process. This low score likely caused the Panthers to pass on the QB, but I bet they are regretting that now. (Eric Gay/The Associated Press)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at firstname.lastname@example.org