The Blitz: Bottom Line Business

December 28, 2020

The Week 17 slate is set and the Dolphins are kicking off at 1 p.m. ET next Sunday in Western New York. A win over the Buffalo Bills would give Miami their first 11-win season since 2008 and the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs. Miami can also qualify for the postseason with losses by either Cleveland, Baltimore or Indianapolis – all of those games will kick off at the same 1 p.m. start time as Dolphins-Bills.

Today on the Blitz, Brian Flores' singular-focused mindset and the glorious 2008 season finale at the Jets.

Injury Report

The first injury report for Dolphins-Bills will be available Wednesday.

They Said It

Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores is one win away from registering the third-best two-season turnaround in franchise history. An 11th win would also even Flores' career record at 16 up and 16 down. His work in Miami, and unwavering confidence in his staff, players and decision-making, has earned the praise of local media.

Those decisions are all based around one common goal – winning football games.

"The label is we're going to do what we've got to do to win," Flores said. "I owe that to the Dolphins fans, to the players in that locker room, the people in this organization. So that's what we're going to always do, so two-person, three-person quarterback, five-person quarterback; whatever we need to do to try to win, that's what we're going to do."

National Notes

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer made it known who he is choosing as the coach of the year in the NFL.

Miami's Brian Flores is my Coach of the Year. And I say that with all due respect to Kevin Stefanski, who was facing a pretty impossible situation in Jersey on Sunday (more on that in a minute). It's just that Flores has Miami at 10 wins less than two years into a rebuilding effort that basically laid out as the equivalent to buying a house on a nice piece of land and taking it down to the studs. The speed at which Flores and GM Chris Grier have built is impressive. And so too is the job Flores is doing as a gameday coach who doesn't turn 40 until February.

Peter King chose a pair of Dolphins for Special Teams Players of the Week in his weekly Football Morning in America column.

Special Teams Players Of The Week

Clayton Fejedelem, safety, Miami. For the first 27 minutes of the vital game in Las Vegas, Miami's offense was putrid. Three points, 45 passing yards, a 10-3 deficit. On fourth-and-one from midfield, with Fejedelem the upback between the center and punter, the 205-pound backup took the direct snap and smashed into the middle of a clogged line. For a split second, it looked like he'd be stopped cold and Brian Flores second-guessed for a fake punt in such a narrow game. But Fejedelem, looking more like a running back than a DB, bounced to his right, found a hole, and rambled for 22 important yards. Miami had to settle for a field goal and a 10-6 deficit, but Fejedelem did his part. He also forced and recovered the fumble on the kickoff that ended the Raiders' last chance as time expired

Jason Sanders, kicker, Miami. We think of Justin Tucker as the game's state-of-the-art kicker. He is. But Sanders is forcing his way into Tucker's league. He was right down the middle on four field goals Saturday night in the 26-25 win over the Raiders, including the winner from 44 yards with one second left. Through 16 weeks, Sanders is 68 of 71 this year on all kicks (including 34 of 37 on field goals), Tucker 72 of 76 (25 of 28 on field goals).

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

December 28, 2008 -- The Dolphins cap a 10-game turnaround from 2007 with a 24-17 victory over the Jets at the Meadowlands, giving the Dolphins a record of 11-5 and the AFC East title, just one year after finishing 1-15. The 10-game improvement ties the 1999 Indianapolis Colts for the largest in NFL history.

Stat of the Day

The Dolphins' 26-25 win over the Raiders on Saturday qualifies as a scorigami, a final score never before seen in the history of the league. It was the 1,064th unique final score in NFL history.

Content on Tap

Today, we'll go inside the numbers from Saturday's win by taking a look at stats, snap counts, team rankings and a whole lot more. We'll also cover the day's events on Top News.

In case you missed it, our recap content from the early hours Sunday morning is available on MiamiDolphins.com and on the Dolphins podcast network. You can catch Travis' recap edition of the Drive Time Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. John Congemi's three takeaways, the postgame story and spotlight piece taking a look at Myles Gaskin's breakout performance are all available on MiamiDolphins.com

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