by Travlis Hallingquest
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The Dolphins continue to rack up the wins, defeating the New York Jets 34-13.  All iterations of HARD KNOCKS feature grandiose motivational speeches from players and staff.  Although all are sincere, few speeches have been pragmatic, with the majority of the HARD KNOCKS teams experiencing clear issues in the preseason and the IN SEASON teams ending with losing seasons. In the case of the Miami Dolphins, the motivational segments are followed by the team kicking ass on the gridiron.


The team views gameplay footage of the 1972 and 1973 Dolphins squads.  Both seasons resulted in the Dolphins winning the Vince Lombardi trophy, with the former season resulting in a perfect 14-0 record. This 2023-2024 team will not have a perfect record (lead the AFC East with an 8-3 record), but are strong Super Bowl contenders. After the old reels are shown, the players are asked what they are thankful for during this Thanksgiving season. As they respond, the voiceover of the legendary Liev Schreiber informs viewers that the Dolphins will face off against the Jets in the first-ever Black Friday football game.

As stated in our previous article, the Dolphins’ offense has the five fastest players in the NFL. The defense is not composed of slowpokes either. Linebacker Jalen Phillips is one of the fastest defensive players in the NFL, which is usually a talking point amongst cornerbacks and safeties. Although Phillips was a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, his UCLA playing days were cut short due to a severe injury. Phillips went to study music for one year at Los Angeles City College, eventually transferring to the University of Miami’s music program.  Here, the young man was able to make the Miami Hurricanes team and made the case he was still NFL material. Veteran linebacker Bradley Chubb serves as a mentor and on-field teammate for Phillips.   Chubb is impressed with the younger man’s intelligence and love for the game.


On game day, a plethora of emotions emerged from the win over the Jets. With the Dolphins up 10-0 minutes before halftime, normally reliable quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws an interception that leads to a touchdown (that’s a pick-six for you true football fans) to put the Jets closer to 10-6.  The Jets fail on the two-point conversion but receive the ball back quickly on downs. With less than two minutes remaining, the Dolphins return the favor when safety Jevon Holland snags an interception in the end-zone and returns it 99 yards. This is one of the most incredible plays I have witnessed in the regular season.

HardKnocksIS_Ep2Pic3In the 4th quarter, the Dolphins have a comfortable lead and Phillips goes down on a play. Although he does not appear to be in physical pain, Phillips cries because he heard his Achilles heel snap. Teammates and staff tell him that this has not happened and to remain calm.  Later it was confirmed that Phillips was correct. His season with the Dolphins is over, and the young linebacker cannot help but worry if his career is in jeopardy.

The outcome of the Dolphins vs. Commanders game will be on the next episode of HARD KNOCK IN SEASON. The outcome of that game and the prognosis of Phillip’s injury will certainly be featured in episode three which airs on December 5, 2023, at 10 PM ET on HBO.

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