Will Manso: Dolphins not dead yet

After improbable win against Patriots, Miami still in hunt for playoffs

By Will Manso - Sports Director
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins defensive ends Charles Harris and Cameron Wake and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh celebrate sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Say this for the Miami Dolphins. They're a hard team to figure out.

Left for dead two weeks ago at 4-7, the Dolphins have now reeled off two straight wins, including one of their more improbable and shocking ones of the season.

Miami's dismantling of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on "Monday Night Football" wasn't just surprising in the result, but in the ease in which they achieved that result.

The Dolphins defense suffocated Brady from the start, and for one night, Jay Cutler was the better quarterback.

Those are words I never thought I would write or even think, but Cutler deserves the praise. He was phenomenal in making big throws and avoiding the big mistake.

The Dolphins also got a lift for a second straight week from Kenyan Drake. The new starting running back is making Dol-fans forget about Jay Ajayi with his combination of rushing and receiving skills. Drake also has a knack for the spectacular play.

Speaking of spectacular, the Dolphins defense did exactly what players said they needed to do.

Miami pressured Brady all night long and made him look like a mere mortal.

Ndamukong Suh and Cam Wake earned their paychecks by leading the way, and the Pats all-world QB just never got comfortable.

Now comes the stretch run of the final three games, and the Dolphins are still in the hunt.

Yes, they're only 6-7, and yes, they've got back-to-back tough December games at Buffalo and Kansas City to start the final push.

Yet, this team has made it a habit under Adam Gase to come to life when people have left them for dead. Me included.

In a season of bizarre stuff, on and off the field, the Dolphins locker room celebration after Monday's win was one of a team believing it can make a playoff push.

Last season it was a 1-4 start and huge finish to make the postseason. This season it's a 4-7 start and now a couple of wins in a row to get back in the playoff race.

Will the Dolphins make the postseason again? It's still unlikely given what's ahead and the other teams around them.

But, the fact we can even have this conversation is a credit to Gase, his staff and his players. Somehow, some way, they're still alive.

I'm not about to count them out until they're officially eliminated from the race.

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