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Dolphins begin big stretch run, CBS Miami's Steve Goldstein

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CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI GARDENS - Ten games into the most highly anticipated Dolphins season in decades, Mike McDaniel's team is in a position to make a strong run. By winning seven of the first ten, the Miami Dolphins have set themself up for a good push to the playoffs.

Tua Time

The often-overlooked big key is that the Dolphins quarterback has been healthy all season. Tua Tagovailoa is getting rid of the football quicker than any quarterback in the NFL and has been hit the fewest times of any QB in the league. While many now take it for granted, keep in mind that Tua's health was a huge off-season topic.

History For Hill
Tyreek Hill must be in the conversation for league MVP. Of course, the award normally goes to quarterbacks, but Hill has more receiving yards after 10 games of a season than any receiver in the Super Bowl era. He has been a dynamic playmaker. His intensity and competitiveness lifts the entire team. In a game like Sunday's against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Dolphins may not win without him.

Defense Shining
Dolphins spent a lot of time, effort, and money to secure Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator. It looks like a great move. The defense has gotten better as the season has gone on, and now that it's healthy, with all of its stars on the field, the last two weeks have been championship caliber performances. Against the Kansas City Chiefs and Raiders, the defense has not allowed a point in the second half. And cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been a star. He has three interceptions already, two coming in dynamic fashion last game, with unbelievable catches. The last one sealed the win over Las Vegas.

Hard Rock Home
Now 5-0 at home, the Dolphins are giving an average of just 16 points per game. They have won 17 of 19 at home, the best run in the stadium's history.

Fins In Driver's Seat
At 7-3, the Dolphins have their AFC East fate in their hands and are in good position in the conference chase. It is down to a two team race for the division, Miami and Buffalo. The Bills have had their challenges this season, but at 6-5, and with a win over the Dolphins, the east is far from decided. The division winner gets at least one home playoff game, and the Dolphins still have their eye on finishing in the top two in the AFC, which would guarantee at least two home games.

7 Games To Go
The stretch run starts with a short week and a Black Friday game against the offensively challenged, to put it nicely, Jets. Watch the game on CBS4, your official home of the Miami Dolphins.

After that, the Dolphins then play in Washington, at home against Tennessee on a Monday night and the Jets again. The Dolphins will be favored in every one of those games, and if they can take care of business, it would set up a scintillating stretch drive against top competition. After that second meeting with the Jets, there are three games to go against Dallas at home, in Baltimore New Year's Eve, and the finale at Hard Rock Stadium against Buffalo.

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