FOXBORO -- It was truly gratifying to go into the Dolphins locker room late Sunday afternoon after the incredible 38-13 victory over the Patriots and talk to the players about success and great plays and, well, something other than losing.
It was great!
During my early years covering the Dolphins I dealt with winning teams almost every year. I covered teams that believed a punched ticket to the playoffs was a right rather than a privilege. I covered teams that mattered and had a swagger and an excitement about them.
The Dolphins played like that Sunday, like the good ol' days. It has been a long time as everyone knows. And it was awesome.
I guess this is where I address the improvement column. I wrote in Sunday's Herald the Dolphins had shown no improvement in the first couple of games this year from the start of last year. I still believe that. The Dolphins were no better after two games this year than after two games last year.
And I don't think any right-thinking fan could argue the opinion which I backed up with statistics. Fact is, no one argued the point with me before Sunday's game. I got plenty of hindsight emails from people busting my ... chops after Sunday's game.
But none came before people knew the outcome of this game.
I was nonetheless wrong when I failed to suggest that Miami's course toward improvement could change at any point this season. Because that is what happened in this game. The Dolphins, for one day, showed improvement. Despite how unpredictable and even improbable, the Dolphins made a giant leap in one week and in this one game.
The Dolphins went from losing one 34-10 to winning one 38-13. They went from losing to a perpetual doormat to destroying a perennial winner.
We'll see if that improvement continues.
Interestingly, and I think importantly, I didn't hear any boastful predictions out of the locker room. Players didn't predict this is the beginning of big things. Players didn't act like all their problems are solved. Players didn't even buy into the, "We knew we'd do this all along," mistake.
Ricky Williams, Vonnie Holliday and others instead spoke of building on this victory. They spoke of needing to clean up some issues that persist. They spoke of not taking two steps back now that they've taken one forward.
It was good to hear.
It was fun to watch.
It was great to cover.