Don't look now, but Brian Flores' Dolphins are 8-4 and in a good position to make the postseason -- if they finish strong.
Miami's final month includes a Sunday meeting with the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who are tied atop the conference with Pittsburgh at 11-1. The task sounds daunting, but a three-win difference isn't all that much, and Flores' team -- specifically, his defense, which ranks second in points allowed per game -- is ready to battle.
Flores has plenty of experience running into a Patrick Mahomes-led offense. As defensive coordinator in New England, his Patriots went toe-to-toe with Mahomes' Chiefs in both the regular season and postseason, producing high-scoring and memorable affairs.
"I remember it was hard to stop them," Flores said of the Chiefs. "It's still hard -- it's probably harder now. ... They've got a lot of great guys over there.
"They've got a little bit of a killer instinct. Mahomes has got it. (Travis) Kelce's got it. (Tyrann) Mathieu, defensively, (Chris) Jones. When they smell blood in the water, they go after you."
Flores is tasked with figuring out how to stop a team that boasts the league's second- and third-best pass-catchers in terms of receiving yards. But that's not all.
"Who do you want to put on (Sammy) Watkins? Who do you want to put on Mecole Hardman?" Flores responded when asked how his team might cover Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. "Who do you want to put on (Demarcus) Robinson? We've got to handle the backs, too. (Clyde Edwards-)Helaire's a good back; Le'Veon Bell's not a slouch, either.
"I wish we could have 14 defenders. That'd be nice."
It would be nice. We'll learn Sunday whether 11 will do for the Dolphins.