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Can we freeze time? Can we take a minute to enjoy 2-0, to savor what the Miami Dolphins have already accomplished, winning back-to-back road games, the only team in the league to accomplish such a feat?
Nope, it just doesn’t work that way. A 2-0 record is already in the rearview mirror as far as these Dolphins are concerned. They have moved on to Atlanta, moved Mike Wallace’s big day and Brent Grimes’ interception and those two crazy back-to-back 54-yard field goals by Caleb Sturgis.
This is the thing about the NFL. It all happens so quickly, you really don’t get to enjoy each stop on the journey. Not for long, anyway. For the Dolphins, there was a moment in the locker room last Sunday when Joe Philbin gathered his players together and shouted: “It doesn’t get any better than that.”
In truth, though, if this journey continues the way it started it will get better than Indy. As the victories mount, as the season progresses, as the standings dictate, the games will get bigger and bigger. Indy won’t be forgotten, but it will be cast aside by another special moment, another special victory.
I asked Joe Philbin this week if his job affords him the opportunity to savor what happened last Sunday in Indy, if he can sit back in his spacious office on the second floor of the training complex and truly appreciate 2-0.
“It was fun being in the locker room after the game,” Philbin said. “It was great. Everyone walks on the plane and 90 percent of the players had their iPads out. We were watching the game as a staff and, as you can imagine, there were a lot of positives. But there are also a lot of things we have to correct and get back to work on.”
Yes, it’s all about Atlanta now and next week at this time it will be all about New Orleans. That’s just life in the NFL. You swallow something sweet or you choke on something bitter and then you quickly turn the page. There is no time to truly digest what had happened.
The Falcons game is huge. But even bigger because of what the Dolphins accomplished in Indy. It is the home opener. A sellout crowd awaits. It is time to move on.
But I won’t let go of 2-0 just yet. There is too much to grasp, too many things we have learned. Here’s my list of 10 things we have already learned about this team.
1. Mike Sherman was right with his offseason prediction. Tell me a second-year quarterback who has improved more than Ryan Tannehill?
2. General Manager Jeff Ireland struck gold in free agency. Very difficult to second-guess any of his signings.
3. The strength of this team, as we expected, is the front seven on defense and passing game. That isn’t likely to change.
4. Linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler are both better than the players they replaced.
5. Cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Dimitri Patterson are both better than the players they replaced.
6. Mike Wallace will have a huge impact on this team both individually and making those around him, like Brian Hartline, even better.
7. Charles Clay will lessen the disappointment of losing Dustin Keller.
8. The key to this season will come down to the offensive line’s ability to protect Tannehill. Anyone disagree?
9. Dion Jordan will take time. The talent is clearly there, but the light just hasn’t gone on yet.
10. This is a vastly improved fourth quarter team on both sides of the ball.
OK, now we can move on to Atlanta. Now we can start finding out how much we don’t know. But don’t forget 2-0. After all, there are only eight teams in this 32-team league that knows what it feels like.
On Friday, AC in the AM breaks down Sunday’s game against Atlanta
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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