What an up and down season for the Dolphins. It ended much like it started: with a three-game losing streak. However, there was a 7-3 run sandwiched in the middle, there. But this team was better than the sub-.500 record would indicate.
Think about it. Before the season, Vegas had them finishing the year 7-9. Then take this into consideration: the Dolphins lost their starting quarterback, Chad Pennington, three games into the season. The same QB that led them to an 11-5 record and an AFC East title in 2008. Then, Chad Henne, essentially a rookie, was thrust into the line of fire, and came out with a 7-6 record as a starter, despite battling many growing pains throughout the season.
Then, the team's MVP, Ronnie Brown went to the IR with an injury, and the aging (yet remarkably young) Ricky Williams became the team's workhorse and rushed for over 1,000 yards, putting the team on his back at times.
The combination of those two key losses caused the team to alter its offensive mindset, as the WildCat was almost scrapped completely.
Add in the fact that this team is still devoid of a No. 1 receiver, as Ted Ginn clearly is not the answer, nor are Davone Bess or Brian Hartline (though, those two do make solid second or third options at the position).
Despite all of those setbacks, the Dolphins were still in playoff contention at the end of the season, and they still finished with a record that was expected of them (from the "experts") coming into the year. The team still has a lot of growing to do, and their are obvious voids that need to be addressed through the draft and such. But this team is not as bad as the sub-.500 record indicated. They are closer to being a playoff team, than being a complete and utter mess, and with Bill Parcells running the show, I have full confidence that this team's playoff absence won't last very long.