hi-res-185421971-lamar-miller-of-the-miami-dolphins-rushes-during-a-game_crop_northThe Miami Dolphins were making news a few weeks ago for all the wrong reasons. The two players embroiled in a bullying/hazing scandal earlier this year are now a distant memory.

Head Coach Joe Philbin may not be the first person to come to mind when the topic of great NFL coaches comes up, but his leadership has certainly been key in getting his squad back on track after that major distraction.

Miami went from a horrible 3-4 start to now a stunning 8-6 record as they go into today's clash with the Buffalo Bills. They've won three games in a row and four out of their last five. Their last two losses came by a combined six-point margin. They are now poised for a playoff run, something they haven't been able to enjoy in the last five years.

The team seems improved at every level all of a sudden. Offensive players are managing to execute more dynamic plays with more broken tackles. The defense is cracking down in the red zone, evidenced by their recent shutting down of the New England Patriots offense with the game on the line in the final seconds.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (325-521, 3,627 yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs) is a huge part of the team's resilient character this season. Though he likely was not high on anyone's fantasy draft list this year, there's plenty of teams picking him up now for the stretch run.

Receivers like Brian Hartline (72 catches for 925 yards and four touchdowns) and Mike Wallace (64 catches for 867 yards and four touchdowns) are looking better than ever, and the running game continues to improve every week with both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas averaging over four yards per carry.

Part of the transformation is due to the excellent work done to overcome personnel losses. Tight end Dustin Keller went down during the preseason, giving rise to Charles Clay's emergence as a star for the team. He leads the receiving corps with six touchdowns on the season on 61 catches.

Receiver Brandon Gibson wound up having to be sidelined as well, and Rishard Matthews filled that void with ease. And those two players who kept the team in all the salacious headlines earlier this year are also out of the picture.

Undrafted free agent Sam Brenner took over Richie Incognito's position, and trade acquisition Bryant McKinnie is picking up the slack after the loss of Jonathan Martin.

Injuries did not spoil the team's chances, and the calamity of the bullying scandal might have actually brought the whole team closer together. The bottom line is this supercharged lineup is a real threat in the playoffs. They proved that by beating the Patriots in a very impressive effort to stay alive for the postseason.

The confidence and momentum they could garner by winning their final two regular season games against the Bills this week and the Jets next week could be the stepping stone to get them on their way to their first Super Bowl since 1984 (Super Bowl XIX), which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers (38-16).

It's been over 40 years since the Dolphins completed the only perfect season in NFL history.

Right now this year's team only needs to be perfect through the playoffs to make some new history.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!