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Mike McDaniel's focus on "24" takes attention away from "two"

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is focused on the number 24. That emphasis distracts attention from a potentially more important number.

Two.

The fact that the Dolphins haven't been to the playoffs since 2000 obscures the fact that McDaniel's Dolphins have gone one and out in consecutive seasons, in large part because they fell apart down the stretch of each of the last two seasons.

That's the bigger issue. McDaniel's version of the team can't get past the wild-card round. Last year's failure — due to a loss in an open-air meat locker in Kansas City — happened because the Dolphins blew their stranglehold on the AFC East. If they hadn't, Miami would have been hosting a playoff game.

Whether the operative number is 24 or two or something in between, the Dolphins need to get back to the playoffs and get beyond the first round, this year. If they don't, owner Stephen Ross (who is leaving 80 in the rear-view mirror) might decide that the time has come for another major change.