The New England Patriots apparently will host a very confident Miami Dolphins team this week on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."
The Dolphins are 1-0 after racking up an NFL-best 536 yards in a 36-34 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. They boast one of the NFL's most explosive wide receiver duos in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and are led by a quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, who led the league in passer rating last season.
Does Miami's dynamic offense have enough juice to snap the franchise's 22-year stretch without a playoff win? Folks within the organization believe so. Sports Illustrated's Omar Kelly joined NBC Sports Boston's The Gameplan on Wednesday to share some insight on the Dolphins' bold 2023 mindset.
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"What I found very interesting about this year's team -- and I've covered the Dolphins for 15 years -- this is the first year I've ever been around this organization where the word 'Super Bowl' will come up at least once a day from players and coaches," Kelly told host Tom Giles, as seen in the video player above.
"They're talking about it. They believe in it. And as Tua said last week, if you believe in it, you talk about it and you put it into the air, you put it into existence, and that's really what they're aspiring for."
There's obviously value in teams having lofty goals, and it's better for the Dolphins to set their sights on the Super Bowl as opposed to simply making the playoffs. That said, there are perils in looking too far ahead too soon -- and Miami should know. Last season, the Dolphins raced out to an 8-3 record under new head coach Mike McDaniel before losing five straight games and sputtering out of the playoffs in an AFC Wild Card loss to the Buffalo Bills.
In fact, the Dolphins haven't won a playoff game since 2000 and have reached the postseason just five times in the past 22 years. They have a golden opportunity to snap that streak this season, however, especially following Aaron Rodgers' season-ending Achilles injury.
"To get there, they've got to win the AFC East," Kelly said of the Dolphins' Super Bowl aspirations. "And when you see what the Bills began the season with (a Week 1 loss to the Jets) and then obviously the Jets losing Aaron Rodgers, you have to say to yourself, if you're a Dolphins player and coach, 'This division is wide open. It's there for the taking and we have the weaponry to do it.'"
You'll notice Kelly didn't even mention the Patriots, who are projected by many to finish last in the AFC East even after Rodgers' injury. So, if New England wants to embrace the role of underdog, the team has plenty of ammunition, and can start proving doubters wrong this Sunday night by taking down an apparent Super Bowl hopeful.