Something that many Dolphin fans have thought about since the Jason Taylor trade is what if Miami turned out to be better than Washington. How would Taylor feel if the Dolphins finished the season with a better record than his new team?
Seem outlandish? Not according to former NFL executive and current SI.com columnist Michael Lombardi. Lombardi writes in his blog that he thinks the Dolphins will actually be better than the Redskins in 2008. Here's an excerpt from his article:
First, the Fins will be much better coached then a year ago. That's not a knock on Cam Cameron and the prior staff in Miami. It's just that, when things went bad it was hard to turn the tide. Replacing Nick Saban was tough and when you bring in someone who takes the opposite of his approach, it takes time. Unfortunately, time was not on Cameron's side last season. Players this year will be forced to improve, and as Churchill once said, "Fear does the work of Reason." Many Miami players will fear losing their jobs and they will play with all the passion and pride they can muster. Add the fact that in 2007, they were 0-6 in games decided by three points or less. It isn't like they were getting killed and blown out in those games. They were very close to winning. Football is a game of details and this year the Dolphins will have all the details better covered...
...So call me crazy, but I think the Fins win more then the Skins.
Here's all I'll say because I don't want to be called too much of a "homer." But football is the only sport, in my opinion, where good coaching alone can single handedly be responsible for 2 or 3 wins per season. Considering the Dolphins lost 6 games by 3 points last year, it's not too far of a stretch to imagine the Dolphins would win 7 or 8 games in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Redskins are in a very tough division. They have to battle with the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles 2 times each year. If you consider that the Giants and Patriots cancel each other out, the remaining 2 teams in the NFC East are far better than the 2 teams in the AFC East. And if you examine each team's non-divisional games, neither team has a particularly easy schedule. But the Dolphins play the NFC West while the Redskins have to play the AFC North. In my opinion, the AFC North is far better than the NFC West.
And the Redskins really aren't that much better off a QB, either. Sure, Jason Campbell has more experience than John Beck. But Campbell's stat line in 2007 of 12 TDs, 11 ints, 60% completion, 8 fumbles lost, and a 77.6 rating isn't really all that much better than Beck's rookie stat line of 1 TD, 3 ints, 56%, 5 fumbles lost, and 62 rating. And if you compare Campbell's performance last year to McCown's, you'd see that Campbell really didn't outplay McCown that much despite having a better team around him.
So while I don't think it's likely that the Dolphins could be a better team than the Redskins in 2008, it isn't a total reach to consider it a possibility.
So what do you think? Is Lombardi going to be proven right? Will the Dolphins be better than the Skins?