Super Bowl Sunday Assorted Thoughts

The Miami Dolphins were shut out at NFL Honors, but who among their candidates had the best case?
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On this day when the NFL will crown its champion for the 2020 season, we tackled a variety of Dolphins-related topics.

We'll start with a final look back at NFL Honors, which provided a lot of disappointment for Dolphins fans and not surprisingly a lot of bitterness.

Such is the nature of award shows, in sports or the arts, that there's always a lot of second-guessing at the winners.

For Dolphins fans, the biggest gripe seemed to be Xavien Howard finishing a distant third in the voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

While the argument for Howard was that he had a year comparable to that of 2019 NFL DPOY winner Stephon Gilmore, even topping it with his interception total, what was missing for Howard had to do with the Dolphins defense itself. To put simply, the 2019 New England defense was being talked about for most of the season among the all-time best and that simply wasn't the case for the 2020 Dolphins.

RELATED: All-Pro Honors for Howard, Sanders

It also could be argue that there were more worthy candidates this year based on what eventual winner Aaron Donald and runner-up T.J. Watt did for the Rams and Steelers, respectively, and those two teams simply had better overall defenses than the Dolphins.

From this end, if anybody was done wrong among all Dolphins candidates, it was Brian Flores because we'll still maintain he's the one who got the most of the talent on his roster — even beyond winner Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns.

That the Dolphins got blown out by Buffalo in the season finale was viewed as a major knock against Flores in the final analysis when it came to the voting, but maybe it should have been seen as an illustration as to the job he did to get the Dolphins even in the position to make the playoffs given the obvious deficiencies that was so apparent in that 30-point loss against the Bills.

THE HALL CALL

Of course, we have to talk about Zach Thomas, who absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame but always was going to have a tough time getting in this year because of the first-year candidates like Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson.

RELATED: Is Zach Thomas the Hall's Biggest Snub?

Those three were elected, along with Alan Faneca and John Lynch, who were finalists for the sixth and eighth time, respectively. From this vantage point, the only one we'd have an issue with is Lynch, but Thomas wasn't the only worthy candidate to be left out.

It just might be that he'll just have to wait his turn like Lynch and Faneca did.

MADISON MOMENT

We discussed earlier in the week the four former Dolphins assistants on the Tampa Bay staff — defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers.

The Chiefs have two former Dolphins on their staff, but interestingly they're both former Miami players and not coaches.

One is 1994 Dolphins seventh-round pick David Merritt, who was a linebacker but now is a defensive backs coach.

He works in conjunction with Sam Madison, who's in the conversation as the best cornerback in Dolphins history and clearly is off to a strong start in his NFL coaching career.

He's in his second year as an assistant with the Chiefs and clearly is doing something right in this new role.

"It's an opportunity for me to continue to grow," Madison said during Super Bowl week. "Only two years in the National Football League and I'm still learning a lot. Being here with Coach (Andy) Reid and Coach Spags (defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) has been a dream come true, to allow me to learn the back-end part of it. I played 12 years and they gave me the game plan. But being able to put it together and deliver it to the guys has been a whirlwind for me. But I'm learning every single day."

Madison will be going for his third Super Bowl ring Sunday after winning one as a player with the New York Giants in 2007 and the one last year.

In the Super Bowl after that 2007 season, just like Sunday, Madison went up against Tom Brady. The two, of course, faced each other twice a year when the Dolphins faced the New England Patriots.

"We've had some fierce battles," Madison said.

CHIEFS CONNECTIONS

Good to see that former Dolphins center Daniel Kilgore able to return in time for Super Bowl LV after he was sidelined for a few days because the COVID-19 protocols.

Kilgore, as the story goes, was in the middle of getting a haircut when it was revealed the team barber had tested positive for COVID. Kilgore had some fun with the situation on social media when he changed his profile picture.

The Chiefs will have not one but two former Dolphins backup quarterbacks behind Patrick Mahomes for the Super Bowl after they elevated Matt Moore from the practice squad Saturday. The other, of course, is Matt Moore.

THE PICK

Because everybody has to make a prediction, here's mine: Bucs 35, Chiefs 31.