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Without getting too crazy, things are looking up

When it was over Joe Philbin was dancing. And owner Stephen Ross was sort of dancing.

The Dolphins won their home opener for the first time since 2005 on Sunday and it should be a feeling worthy of being savored, as I write in my column today, because the Dolphins have been losing way too many home games in recent years and this was a departure from that.

So walk around with your head held high today, Dolphins fan. Feel good about this one.

But remember ... just as last week's opening loss was not the end of the season, Sunday's victory was not its culmination. This season is a process and Sunday was a step.

It was a nice step. A fun step. A feel-good step.

But only one step.

So please, all of you sending me e-mails or tweets that Miami is playoff-bound because it is tied for the AFC East lead at 1-1, you need to stop.

The Dolphins merely did what they were supposed to do. Remember that. Even I picked Miami to win this game and I stink at picking games. The Dolphins beat a team that had one less day to prepare after playing on Monday night, then had to travel across the entire country and play in black uniforms in temperatures that took a toll in the second half.

As one Dolphins official put it, "A decade ago this victory would have been overlooked because we would win games like this all the time."

How times have changed when some fans think beating Oakland is a huge deal. The truth is the Dolphins have pretty much blown out the Raiders each of their last three games. So again, this was good. But it wasn't the defining moment of the season. So tap the brakes a little bit.

I will say this:

The game offered positive signs.

Ryan Tannehill continues to impress because he continues to improve. He's playing like a solid game-manager quarterback right now. That's a compliment because, remember, the guy is a rookie. He's not making mistakes. He's not costing his team turnovers. He is making some plays that are helping the cause. That's really quite good for a rookie at this stage.

The defense is playing very stout against the run. The offensive push is very good in the running game to the point Reggie Bush is second in the NFL in rushing today behind only Buffalo's C.J. Spiller.

So there are good signs. There is progress.

Again, that doesn't mean this team is going to the playoffs. Sunday was one day, one game. 

But it does mean that good things seem to be happening for the Dolphins. Finally. 

 

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