The Miami Dolphins are one step closer to making it to the NFL playoffs this year!
By beating the New York Jets 34-13 on Saturday night, the Dolphins walked away from the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey with their ninth win for the season. With a 9-5 record, the team was able to slide their way into the AFC’s final Wild Card slot.
As the Dolphins vs Jets game started in the first quarter, it appeared as if the New York Jets were going to have the upper hand. Throughout the first half, they managed to keep it extremely close – keeping fans on the edges of their seats, wondering how the battle would end once the smoke cleared.
Dolphins’ Matt Moore makes first start in five years, throws 4 TDs vs. Jets. https://t.co/ITapmg1Xz2
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 18, 2016
In the second half, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore threw an interception during the team’s first drive. However, the memory of that failed play quickly faded into the background when the Dolphins dominated the field when it mattered the most in the third quarter.
Walt Aikens played a key role in escalating the Dolphin’s momentum with an epic play when he managed to block a punt from the Jets and returned it for a touchdown. When a flag was dropped on the play, the question of whether or not Aikens jumped the gun was asked. However, moments later, it was announced that the flag was for an illegal formation on behalf of the Jets’ offense – officially adding Aikens’ impressive touchdown to the scoreboard.
Walt Aikens had the biggest game changing play imo. pic.twitter.com/KP2kCMMcqr
— Eric (@EricElizondo8) December 18, 2016
— Michael Thomas (@Michael31Thomas) December 18, 2016
Walt Aikens is one of the few reasons I enjoy watching special teams film. He’s a hustler.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) December 18, 2016
It may have seemed as if the Dolphins hit their peak with Aikens’ headline-making touchdown. However, they were apparently just getting started. Within close to a four-minute timeline, the Miami Dolphins used an interception to set themselves up for another touchdown, followed by a 66-yard touchdown pass from Matt Moore to Jarvis Landry.
With a 4-10 season record, the New York Jets’ hopes for a postseason were dashed weeks ago. However, the Dolphins used their victory against the team to nearly seal the deal on their AFC Wild Card slot – an opportunity that they have not had since the 2008 playoffs.
— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) November 29, 2016
However, the deal is not sealed just yet. There is still a chance for the Dolphins to be booted from the Wild Card slot depending on Sunday’s matchup between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. Before Saturday’s victory against the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos both had an 8-5 record for the season. By bumping their record to 9-5, the Dolphins took the No. 6 slot in the AFC.
According to CBS Sports, if the Denver Broncos beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, though, the Dolphins will lose their Wild Card slot. Perhaps that is why a vast number of Miami Dolphins fans are rooting for the New England Patriots on Twitter.
— Shakespeare527 (@Shakespeare527) December 18, 2016
— Matt Basinger (@MaineFinFan) December 18, 2016
— Brian Brown (@bribrown013) December 18, 2016
Even if the Miami Dolphins lose their shot at the NFL playoffs this year, the fact that team had a winning season this year is more than likely a pleasant surprise for the team’s biggest fans and critics.
[Featured Image by Bill Kostroun/AP Photo]