Five Finteresting Facts: Dolphins Hold Off Patriots to Close Season, 33-24

Photo courtesy of Miami Dolphins

The news of the firing of head coach Brian Flores has overshadowed how the Miami Dolphins finished the 2021 season.

As Sunday ended however, there was cause for celebration. Although Miami failed to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year, the Dolphins did notch a winning season with a 33-24 win over the New England Patriots.

Miami finished 2021 with a record of 9-8. As the Dolphins head into the offseason and a new era, here are five “Fin”teresting facts from Sunday’s win:

1. Waddle-ing to History

With five receptions on Sunday, rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle set the NFL rookie record for receptions with 104, breaking Anquan Boldin’s record set in 2003. Waddle finished with just 27 yards receiving and a touchdown on Sunday, but did enough to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. With 1,015 yards for the season, Waddle becomes just the 11th Miami Dolphin and first rookie to accomplish that feat.

2. Clean Sweep

With Sunday’s victory, the Miami Dolphins collected the season sweep of the New England Patriots. It marked the first time since 2000 that the Dolphins accomplished that feat. To illustrate how long it has been, Tom Brady was a rookie and third-string quarterback for New England.

3. Another Winning Season

With Sunday’s win, the Dolphins notched a second straight winning season. After finishing 10-6 last season, the Dolphins finish 2021 with a 9-8 record. It marks the first time that Miami has had back-to-back winning seasons since 2002 and 2003 with Dave Wannstedt at the helm. The Dolphins enjoyed seven straight winning seasons from 1997 to 2003.

4. Coach Flo Goes Out a Winner

Although Brian Flores was fired on Monday morning, he caps his tenure with a victory. Excluding interim head coaches, Flores is the only Miami head coach to win his coaching finale. He finishes with a 23-24 record in three years with the Dolphins.

5. Running Roughshod Over New England Again

During Sunday’s victory, the Miami Dolphins set a season-high with 195 yards rushing. Duke Johnson led the way with 117 yards and a touchdown. Phillip Lindsay and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa combined for 78 yards rushing. Last season’s high rushing total also came at home against New England. The Dolphins finished with 250 yards rushing in a 22-12 win last December.

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.