Why Miami might be for real

Miami's offense hasn't been pretty, but it's gotten the job done early. Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins haven't made the playoffs in four years. In fact, they've only made the playoffs once in the past decade. However, Sunday's 30-9 pounding of the New York Jets puts Miami at 4-3, tied for a wild-card berth in the AFC standings. At first glance, this looks like something of an early-season fraud propped up by a soft schedule -- none of the teams Miami has beaten currently has a winning record. A closer look shows this is a good football team, one that should challenge for a playoff spot well into the holiday season. And the Dolphins are doing it by going against the grain. In this era of high-powered, record-setting passing attacks, the Dolphins are proving that you can still win games with defense and special teams.