The wheat is really starting to be separated from the chafe recently, especially with the twin drubbings by the Pats & 49'ers of two 'pretender' teams, one of which was considered a top-5 team prior to the Cutler concussion.
But it puts in pretty clear light how much of a joke it was for us to ever consider Miami a 'playoff contender'. Even if they would've somehow squeaked in there at 9-7 or something they would've been disposed of in short order by a real team.
So, with that in mind, perhaps we can enjoy the 'rebuilding year' thing for the rest of the Dolphin Season, though that does come with some caveats.
For example: It's easy to dismiss yards at the end of a blowout game as 'garbage stats'. Well, when your season is pretty much in 'garbage time' can any stats really have value? What I mean is that, can we really evaluate the quality of our player's performance when the pressure of achieving something is gone? I think, in a spoiler role standpoint the games do have some value, but it is diminished. Many guys have had great success when their team is out of the hunt, then turn around on week one of the following year and prove themselves to be losers. Hopefully this won't be the case for Tannehill. Matt Moore himself is kinda the poster boy for being a garbage-time hero. He failed to impress in camp and that is why Tannehill started the season by putting his foot in the bucket.
Outside of Tannehill, though, I do believe guys can and will display their true value as players. Unlike Bonus-baby QBS, most players are playing for career livelihood and to earn money to pay for their astronomical medical care they'll need later in life as a result of the carnage they're doing to their bodies right now.
I do believe Miami will have the opportunity to determine which players can make them a legit Superbowl threat vs a 9-7 1st-round exit team. Having a juggernaut in your own division should clarify the difference between pretender and contender really well. It should tell you what percentage of successful plays you need to have in order to convincingly win games. Miami's players and coaches will get a REAL good look at what success means shortly. That coaching staff might be quivering in a corner right now because if Tennesse made a mockery of Miami's efforts, what will the Pats and Niners do? Shudder to think.