How much noise can surging Dolphins make in AFC? | PFT on Yahoo Sports

Mike Florio and Peter King debate if Miami, a team that started the season 1-7, can make their move in the AFC when it matters most.

Video Transcript


MIKE FLORIO: Time now for "PFT" on Yahoo Sports. Peter King and Mike Florio, all the big news in the National Football League. And don't look now, but the Miami Dolphins who started off 1 and 7 have now won 5 games in a row. And they are a win over the Jets away from getting to 500 at 7 and 7 with 3 games left. Can they make some noise in the AFC playoff picture in your estimation, Peter?

PETER KING: Well, I'll give you the optimistic side and the pessimistic side, Mike. The optimistic side is that their next two games are against the Jets, who they sort of own, and the flawed New Orleans Saints, who I would think they'd have a pretty good chance against. We'll see.

But if they win those two games they're, 8 and 7, and then who knows what happens the last two games of the season when they play Tennessee and New England. Now, on the other hand, if you look at the power structure right now in the AFC entering this last month of the season, the Miami Dolphins have 6 wins. And so, that puts them in really good place, you would think.

But the Dolphins, unfortunately, are the 13th seed right now, and only 7 teams make the playoffs. Even if they keep winning, they have got to jump over a bunch of teams. So, I think on how they're playing, they're going to be a tough out for anybody if they were to get to the first round of the playoffs. But on the other hand, it's going to be very, very hard to get there because they get to jump over so many teams.

MIKE FLORIO: Tough needle to thread, you're absolutely right, and they're going to have to just keep winning. And enough of the teams in front of them play each other that they'll cancel some of themselves out, but you just have to keep winning football games. And having that seventh loss already really reduces the margin for error moving forward.

Peter, I want to say this though, I don't think it's a coincidence that they've caught this hot streak once the window closed on the possibility of trading for Deshaun Watson. They have won every game since the trade deadline because now Stephen Ross can't be agitating behind the scenes to get Deshaun Watson. Tua Tagovailoa isn't distracted by the ever-present possibility that Deshaun Watson is going to walk through the door at any given moment.

He was able to settle down and focus on making himself better and not second guess himself, not feel doubted. He's the guy, it's your ball, it's your show the rest of the year, let's see what you can do. And I don't know that he's done enough yet to get the Dolphins to say we have our guy, but this is exactly the way he needed to respond to the adversity that that constant trade chatter created for him.

PETER KING: Mike, after their victory on Sunday I talked to Mike Gesicki, their tight end, and I was asking him a lot about what's going on inside the team in terms of how Flores was reacting. I said you were 1 and 7. Coming back from that game in Buffalo where you lost for the second time this year to the Bills and you're 1 in 7, what's Flores like the day after that game? And he goes, I'm really going to disappoint you, and I'm sorry to be boring, but he's exactly the same I guarantee you as he will be tomorrow after we've won our fifth in a row. And I think that consistency has really helped them.

He also told me that Tagovailoa has not introduced the specter of his situation into the locker room, into meetings, into the huddle, anything. They've not been openly discussing Deshaun Watson at all. But you're right, now that it can't happen, that's only good news for the Dolphins.

MIKE FLORIO: And like last year, they may make a kick, but it fell apart at the end of the road for the Dolphins in 2020. And I agree with you, it is going to be difficult for the Dolphins to find their way into one of those 7 spots. There's going to be some very good teams, Peter, who don't make it this year in both conferences. It's going to be exciting to watch it all happen over the final five weeks of the season. We thank you for some of your time, as always. We'll see you again for more "PFT" on Yahoo Sports. Have a great day.