The Dolphins this year have beaten Buffalo (0-6), Minnesota (2-4) and Green Bay (4-3). They've lost to New England (5-1), the Jets (5-1) and Pittsburgh (5-1).
So that basically tells you the Dolphins cannot beat the really good teams, but they can handle the bad or struggling teams quite well.
Eventually, the Dolphins have to decide if they are more than just a team that will only pretend to hang with the good teams. "We're just trying to make that leap and decide that we want to be a good team," running back Ricky Williams told the Cincinnati media on a conference call. "But right now we're just kind of back and forth."
This week sounds like a forth "kind of" week. The Bengals are not elite. They have a 2-4 record which suggests they have a myriad issues and further suggests the Dolphins can prosper against them on Sunday.
So the outlook is good this weekend.
But is that what the Dolphins really want to be? I don't think so. Coach Tony Sparano has been telling his players that they have reached the time in the season when teams start to pick what they are likely to become. The good teams get on a roll. The bad teams struggle. The mediocre teams continue to have good weeks followed by bad.
So you will soon start to see what these Dolphins really are.
Remember the Dolphins follow this supposedly winnable game with a trip to Baltimore, which is a much tougher, much more likely playoff contender. Will the Dolphins win this weekend and lose the next?
That would just keep them on the .500 roller coaster.
Sparano has implored his team to be better than that.
Do they have it in them?