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Miami dolphins on a bizarre journey this season with massive streaks | News, Sports, Jobs


Steve brownlee

It intrigued me during the Monday night soccer game this week when announcers spoke of the Miami Dolphins’ unique season featuring both a seven-game losing streak and a seven-game winning streak.

As the winning streak continues, that means the number could drop to nine by the end of the season.

Wouldn’t that be something – in the span of 17 games played, a team has first lost seven in a row, then won nine in a row.

That leaves only one game to play, which was a 17-16 season opener over New England.

In the 1970s that I referred to in this space last week, when teams played a shorter regular season, it would have been nearly impossible to have separate seven-game streaks because that would have taken all 14 games.

Yet what would you bet on two consecutive seven-game streaks even in a 17-game season?

I took a look at the Dolphins’ results – especially who they played against – to see how much that Miami team changed on Halloween, the day they were last lost.

My general view is that their schedule had at least as much to do with the streaks as any improvement the team made.

The one-point victory in the opener was against a Patriots team that had just finished last year’s pedestrian season 7-9 with raw rookie quarterback Mac Jones at the helm.

Next come seven straight losses for Miami. Those six teams – Buffalo came at both ends of the streak – include five teams currently in the playoffs or tied for last wild card spot, plus Atlanta in an NFC playoff game, and finally Jacksonville, who currently has a half-game “lead” over the Detroit Lions for the first draft pick.

All very losing, even to the 2-13 Jaguars, who came in with the streak down to four in what turned out to be a three-point loss.

On the scoring side, Buffalo won both of its games by a combined 61-11 (35-0, 26-11), Tampa Bay 24-17 and Indianapolis 27-17. The others were decided by three points or less – Las Vegas 31-28 in overtime, the Jaguars 23-20 and Atlanta 30-28.

They were competitive some of the time, which you can also tell about the Lions despite being 2-12-1.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that when a relative breeze – Houston – showed up at the Dolphins’ door on Nov. 7, Miami won 17-9. That put the Southern Floridians still at a less than impressive 2-7.

Then came Baltimore, which had its ups and downs in the second half, the New York Jets, Carolina, the New York Giants, the Jets again and New Orleans.

Only the Ravens are currently in the playoff race (but are sinking fast) while the Saints are in a draw, thanks in part to the Dolphins.

The other teams are all 4-11 or 5-10.

In terms of scoring, Miami has won all seven games in the current streak with at least seven points, including four in double digits.

So yes, there is a definite improvement, but doesn’t your team always look better when playing less competition?

I heard more than a few ESPN and / or Fox analysts poop over the odds for the Dolphins earlier this week, but hey, it wasn’t like Miami barely got one of those wins.

This Sunday, Miami is in Tennessee before the Fins finish at home against the Patriots. Right now, Miami is tied at four for seventh and final place in the AFC playoffs.

Hey, I’m saying watch the Dolphins and see if they can kick down the door to the playoff game after a 1-7 start. Wouldn’t that be something?

Now let’s move on to all of this week’s games:


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Atlanta at Buffalo – This could easily be a disappointment for the Bills following last weekend’s big win over New England. But it should help being at home, and on top of that, Buffalo saw the downside of falling into complacency earlier this season. Bills, 33-23.


New York Giants at Chicago – Again, Chicago could disappoint after a great win in Seattle, but also, the Seahawks aren’t such a great team to beat, are they? Bear, 20-16.


Kansas City at Cincinnati – Both teams picked up around 20 points last week against well-regarded opponents. But while Cincy may be happy to make the playoffs – even if they haven’t clinched their spot yet – KC knows the real goal is the Super Bowl, and what’s more, winning it this year. Chiefs, 24-20.


Las Vegas at Indianapolis – These teams are only one game away from the standings, but Indy appears to be a stronger, more mature team. Foals, 27-20.


Jacksonville to New England – You don’t want to make these New Englanders angry. And what can the Jaguars do? Patriots, 31-17.


Tampa Bay vs. New York Jets – Tom Brady must be hungry enough to know what the No.1 seed would mean with a pass and a Super Bowl pitch, and analytical enough to know that even the head of Series # 2 brings along a second home game that the # 3 or # 4 seeds wouldn’t. Buccaneers, 34-19.


Miami, Tennessee – Watching Miami on Monday, I can see his defense pressuring Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill and causing game-changing turnovers. Dolphins, 17-13.


Philadelphia at Washington – Philly can put a fork in the WFT’s playoff hopes with a win. Can do. Eagles, 24-19.


Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore – The Ravens just look nicked, even as QB Lamar Jackson returns it looks like he won’t be 100 percent, a bad thing against that Rams defense. Rams, 33-23.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Arizona at Dallas – Even though the Cardinals consistently win everywhere they play – with the exception of Michigan and Arizona – Dallas appears to be returning to form just in time for the playoffs. Cowboys, 37-29.


Carolina in New Orleans – It’s hard to judge – essentially two teams out of the playoffs, although the Saints are still on life support. I see QB Taysom Hill should be able to come back for New Orleans which is about the best I can understand about this game. Saints, 17-10.


Denver vs. Los Angeles Chargers – The Broncos are all on defense, while LA is not running defense. Zero divided by zero is somewhere around zero, if you listen to my kindergarten teacher Ms. Shockley and not my middle school teacher Mr. Gopal (real names!). So that must mean that the Chargers’ zero defense won’t matter against Denver’s zero offense. Chargers, 21-14.


Houston at San Francisco – Guess who’s on a two-game winning streak? Don’t tell the 49ers, you won’t be right. They enjoyed a two-game streak until they lost to Tennessee on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Texans recently dumped the Chargers and Jacksonville, each in double digits. Still, I already have enough trouble believing in peanut butter, even with all those Peter Pan TV commercials from a generation ago, so how can I believe this Houston team? 49ers, 23-17.


Detroit to Seattle – Save the best for last, eh? Wait, I still have these two other NFC North teams to face off against.

OK, it’s time to go with the percentages. Since it’s a good bet more than 80% of the time, I’ll take Detroit – not to win. Seahawks, 24-23.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Minnesota at Green Bay – This is hands down the best of what’s left, which you’ll understand when you see who’s playing on Monday.

How do you choose against the best team, play at home and try to avenge an earlier loss against the same opponent? I can not. Packers, 30-24.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh – In the stronghold of mediocrity known as the AFC, these third and fourth place teams in their division are still alive in the playoffs, including for their division title if I’m not mistaken. My head says take the Browns, but knowing how the Steelers can do something from nothing, and since they already dominate their division, I’ll take the Steelers, 20-17.


Last week – 11-5, 69 percent. Season – 148-91-1, 62 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is [email protected]

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