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As ludicrous as the notion might sound to anyone outside of Miami Dolphins headquarters, not making the playoffs could be viewed as a failure for a team that went 1-15 last year.
The Dolphins don't want to use the term "rebuilding," which is the adjective we all applied to a franchise that staggered through one of the worst seasons in NFL history.
But the expectations in Davie, Fla., were different. What has happened so far is nothing short of amazing. The Dolphins are 6-5, a winning record in late November.
They were two games over .500 and one game out of first place after winning four straight games and six out of their past eight. Then they were humbled at home by the New England Patriots, 48-28, on Sunday.
The Dolphins still could make the playoffs, but based on what the New York Jets did to the Tennessee Titans and the Patriots' emphatic statement, the Dolphins probably will be watching football on their couches in January.
That will be considered an unsuccessful season by anyone employed by the Dolphins.
What do you think?