The Miami Dolphins were in disarray just a few weeks ago. That happens when controversy brings negative attention to a team. And there are few controversies bigger than the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying story.
Some NFL observers believe Dolphins coaches could lose their jobs after a league investigation. Front office personnel were reportedly in jeopardy, too.
Miami faced the kind of adversity that could have ripped apart most teams. The Dolphins were poised for a collapse. It would have been understandable if they had gone in the tank.
However, Miami (6-6) did not look like a team in peril against the New York Jets on Sunday. The Dolphins looked like a complete team during a 23-3 victory.
Sure, it was against the seriously slumping New York Jets, but it was still an important win for Miami. As a result of the win, the Dolphins are still alive in the AFC wild-card race. They're tied for the sixth seed with four weeks to go.
Miami’s defense dominated the Jets, and quarterback Geno Smith was benched at halftime. Smith completed of 4-of-10 passes for 29 yards and one interception. Smith was replaced by quarterback Matt Simms, who completed 9-of-18 passes for 79 yards and one interception.
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey missed the past two games due to a stomach ailment, but played on Sunday. That helped Miami compile 125 yards on the ground, while quarterback Ryan Tannehill had 331 passing yards and two touchdowns.
And despite not having Martin or Incognito, Miami’s offensive line allowed only one sack.
Martin left the team after he alleged Incognito continuously harassed him. Martin was recently placed on the non-football illness list, while Incognito’s suspension from the Dolphins will last two more games, but with pay.
Miami has come a long way since it looked inept against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10. The Dolphins were defeated, 22-19, and their season appeared to be lost. However, Miami has rebounded with two wins since then.
Miami was in disarray just a few weeks ago. Now the Dolphins look like a team.
- - - - - - -