Any Reason For Optimism?

The Dolphins keep saying things are getting better and they're making progress and things will get turned around, and it's true they played a pretty competitive game Sunday at New England. But the bottom line is they're 1-4, and the season is awfully close to being done when it comes to thinking playoffs. So what does the future hold for this team?

It probably would satisfy no one to watch the Dolphins repeat what they did last year, meaning a late run after they're out of playoff contention, but it might be where we're headed.

Let's be honest. Yes, the Dolphins played better against New England, but it was pretty clear there exists a fairly wide gap between the two teams.

The Dolphins keep making the same kind of mistakes -- turnovers, penalties, blown coverages -- that get teams beat. And you can talk all you want about those being corectable things, but again it's bad teams that make those type of mistakes.

Think about it: How often do you see those type of mistakes from the Patriots? Not often.

There was a glimmer of hope on offense with the performance of Joey Harrington, who clearly gave the Dolphins a spark by getting rid of the ball quickly as opposed to Daunte Culpepper hanging on to it forever.

But Harrington also threw two costly interceptions, had no touchdowns and had a QB rating under 60.

We're also still waiting for Ronnie Brown to deliver the big yardage we all thought was coming. Guess what? It might not be coming. That's because Brown is a grind-it-out type of back and it's also because the Dolphins offensive line just isn't good enough.

It hasn't been good enough for several years now, and that hasn't changed.

The defense is good enough to keep the Dolphins in games, but at some point it needs to make the big stops. Against New England, the Dolphins allowed only 213 yards, but they also let the Pats score touchdowns after both of Harrington's touchdowns.

So what are we saying? The Dolphins will get better, but they probably won't get that much better.

And it probably won't happen quickly enough.


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