Mike Sherman thought the Dolphins missed on an opportunity to win a statement game earlier this season when the team went to New Orleans undefeated but couldn't deliver a win. He does, however, believe the Dolphins came through in a statement game on Sunday.
And now where are they now?
"This was another opportunity like that one," Sherman said Monday. "This opportunity exists for us to go out there against a really good football team and make some noise. And that's what we're doing now, we're making noise. That's about it. We're playing as hard as we can play and coaching as hard as we can coach. And we're taking it one day at a time. However it ends up, it ends up."
One of the reasons the Dolphins are making noise is the December improvement of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He has thrown for 843 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs in three games. And yesterday's 312-yard, 3-TD performance was outstanding.
But maybe not his best, according to Sherman.
"Let's see, that was pretty near the top," Sherman said. "I don't know if it was the best, but it was pretty near the top. His decision-making was excellent. His compusure. He made some big time throws in critical situations. Considering the opponent, I guess it was near the top."
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, great guy, continued to add to the building legend of defensive back Michael Thomas. We all know Thomas was poached off the San Francisco practice squad by the personnel department last week. He showed up at camp on Tuesday.
And on Sunday, pressed into service by injuries to Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll, he intercepted Tom Brady to save the day. Well, Coyle was asked how many practice repetitions Thomas got with the defense last week.
"He got zero reps in practice," Coyle said. "The only reps he got were reps on the scout team (running the New England defense) and he spent a lot of time in meetings."
Coyle said assistant Blue Adams kept Thomas in meetings after practice, after most players had left Friday, then again on Saturday after the walk-thru.
On the final series, Jimmy Wilson moved to cornerback. He hadn't gotten a snap at cornerback dating back to OTAs two years ago, Coyle said. Rookie cornerback Will Davis was in the game. And obviously Thomas was in.
Interestingly, the Dolphins see Thomas as more a safety or nickel defensive back than a cornerback, Coyle said.
"As big as the last play was, the play prior to it, it looks like on our film, the [receiver's) got the ball in his hands and (Thomas) comes over the top and punches it out. If he doesn't make that play, we never get to the last play."
Coach Joe Philbin declined to say whether the botched field goal was a fake or not. It was.