Well, we have reached the quiet portion of the offseason. Nothing much between now and training camp other than player deals. So, I've decided to take a look at where we are, and come up with our record based on our talent and the teams we play. This is assuming Tannehill starts the whole season though. So, let's get started
Game 1: at Houston Texans - Loss 44-28
The Texans are a very dangerous squad this year, with added defensive pieces and offensive players returning from injury. Cameron Wake should have a big day due to the Texans having lost two offensive line starters in free agency. On the other hand, we are featuring a new look to the right side of our O-line, with them having a whole new pass rush. Tannehill is going to show some rookie struggles, but won't be too bad, but our runningbacks should have a big game against the Texans' run defense. Key Match-up: Dolphins RT Jonathon Martin against Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus. It will be interesting to see the two young rookies go at it against each other, both being high draft picks and considered the top at their position in the draft.
Game 2: Oakland Raiders - Win 20-17
Tannehill picks up his first win at home against Carson Palmer and the Raiders. Its going to be sweltering hot at this 1:00 game, and the Raiders will be burning up in their black jerseys. They also lost runningback Micheal Bush and will only have McFadden as their top offensive weapon. The Phins defense will be ready to go and Tannehill will really shine this game. It will be low-scoring however, but we pullout the win. Key Matchup: Darren McFadden vs.Phins run defense. The Raiders will be looking to attack with McFadden often,and it will be up to our front 7 to stop him.
Game 3: New York Jets - Win 17-14
Another low-scoring game that we snag. The Phins are always great against the Jets at home, and the confusion in the locker room there will only help us. It is unsure whether Tebow will start by this point, but the Phins defense can handle him If Sanchez is starting, expect Cam Wake to really live up to his new contract. I expect a good 2-3 sacks from this game from Wake. Our running game will blow them apart this game as we sang the victory Key Matchup: Quinton Coples vs. Phins O-line. It will be interesting to see how Vernon Gholston 2.0 fares against our new-look O-line.
Game 4: at Arizona Cardinals - Win 31-24
The Phins continue their winning streak despite the long flight. The Cardinals have no stability at the QB position and whoever starts will be facing constant pressure with their horrible O-line. Fitzgerald will have some good catches, but it won't be enough to stop a Phins defense that will have established itself as one of the best in the league by this point in the season. Key Matchup: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Vontae Davis. This is one to watch for. Vontae will have his hands full, and will be trying his best to stop Fitz, we'll see how he does.
Game 5: at Cincinnati Bengals - Loss 34-21
Our winning streak comes to a crushing halt with this tough game. Cincinnati is a team on the rise, and have plenty of weapons. Andy Dalton and Tannehill will have a bit of a rookie-sophomore showdown, but AJ Green is the deciding factor in this one, as Tannehill won't have a weapon that can match him. It's going to be a disheartening defeat, but we will still hold a winning record despite of this. Key Matchup: Ryan Tannehill vs. Andy Dalton. The two young QBs will play a big role in this one, and I have a feeling that whoever wins this matchup takes home the win, unfortunately, Dalton, Green and Sanu are too much.
Game 6: St.Louis Rams - Win 37-17
The Phins serve up their very first blowout victory. They will return home pissed from their loss to the Bengals, and will crush the Rams. The Rams don't have the weaponry or the defense to stop the Phins at this point. Their defense is still a few pieces away and their O-line is one of the worst in the NFL. Cam Wake, Olivier Vernon, Jared Odrick and the rest of the pass rush will have a big day giving Sam Bradford a smackdown. Key matchup: Steven Jackson vs. Phins run D. The Phins have the Run D to stop Jackson, but you could never count him out.
Game 7: at New York Jets - Win 41-13
Another blowout, you ask? Yes, I say. The Jets locker room should've imploded by this point, and their on-field play will suffer because of it. Tannehill will have gotten into his groove by now and will be slinging it around. Expect a big day as he tears up the Jets defense. The pass rush will have fun beating out their version of the revolving door, Wayne Hunter, and there will be an overall dominant team performance. Key Matchup: Ryan Tannehill vs. Jets CBs. Tanny is really going to have to spread it around with Revis and Cromartie locking up Hartline and Bess. We have the talent to overtake them though.
Game 8: at Indianapolis Colts - Win 26-21
Our winning streak continues with another easy win. Luck will keep our defense's hands full, but they don't have the talent around him to win this one. It will be interesting to see the rookie QBs go at it, and I think they both will play well. The running game is what will win this one for us,as our RB corps is far superior to theirs. Key Matchup: Coby Fleener vs. Phins safeties. It's going to be interesting to see how our defense handles this big, dominant recieving TE, and that matchup will make all the difference.
Game 9: Tennessee Titans - Loss 31-33
Our winning streak comes to another crushing end. This will be a close offensive game the whole way through, with a rookie-sophomore matchup pitting Tannehill against last year's 8th overall pick, Jake Locker. It will be fun to watch since the two young gunslingers go at it, and we lose out on this one as Tannehill struggles against Kamerion WImbley and the Titans' pass rush. Key Matchup: Phins WRs vs. Titans CBs. The Phins WR corps lost their no.1 piece, and the Titans CB corps lost their no. 1 piece, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other.
Game 10: at Buffalo Bills - Loss 10-31
Our losing streak continues with a crushing loss against a surprisingly talented Bills team. It will have started to get cold up here by this time, and we will struggle due to that. The Bills have a lot of good defensive pieces, and I see Tannehill struggle again to get anything done. We try our best to stay competitive, but the Bills' squad is just too much. Key Matchup: Phins O-line vs. Bills D-line. With their two new additions, the Bills may have the best D-line in the NFL, and it will be tough for the solid Phins O-line to hold them off.
Game 11: Seattle Seahawks - Win 27-17
The pressure will really be on Tannehill to produce in this game after struggling the past two games, and he does so in a big way. Having pretty much a second bye week before this game helps as well. Flynn will want to get back at us for passing him up, and will be giving it his all, but the Seahawks just don't have the offensive weaponry to beat us. Marshawn Lynch will keep them afloat, but we pull out a big win here with the season on the line. Key Matchup: Matt Flynn vs. Ryan Tannehill. Both of these QBs were favorites to land in Miami, and it will be interesting to see if we made the right choice.
Game 12: New England Patriots - Win 33-31
Riding high off of the win in the previous week, the Phins come away from this one with a rare win over Brady. The game will be hard fought, and Tanny has a huge game against the mess that is the Patriots' secondary. Brady will play well, as usual, but our DBs will come up big and stop them from doing any real damage. The Pats running game is not even worth mentioning. Key Matchup: Pats TEs vs. Phins LBs/Ss. This will be the real test for Kevin Coyle. He is a coverage expert, but lets see if e can coach up our guys to take on Gronk and Hernandez.
Game 13: at San Francisco 49ers - Loss 13-24
After a grueling trip west, the players will be gassed and it will be tough for them to get ready for the game in a shortened amount of time. The 49ers also have a very good defense, running game and Alex Smith is poised for a breakout year with the amount of quality weapons he has (Micheal Crabtree, AJ Jenkins, Mario Manningham, Vernon Davis and Randy Moss). Key Matchup: Frank Gore vs. Dolphins run D. Frank Gore had a great season last year, and it will be interesting to see if the Phins D can stop him
Game 14: Jacksonville Jaguars - Win 34-13
The Jaguars are not exactly the best of competition, with a very weak defense and little to no weapons outside of Maurice Jones-Drew and Justin Blackmon. Gabbert will either have been injured or benched at this point, and the team will be on Henne's shoulders. With little to work with, he won't be able to do much and the Phins pull out an easy win. Key Matchup: Chad Henne vs. Ryan Tannehill. An interesting battle between the last guy who was supposed to replace Marino and the new guy who will replace Marino.
Game 15: Buffalo Bills - Win 33-31
This will be a tough game as both teams will be fighting over a wildcard spot at this point. The Bills have a dangerous squad and they will be fired up as this game could potentially be the deciding factor for a playoff spot. Both Tanny and Fitzpatrick will have to have good games to win this one, and the game goes to the last minute and is decided by a field goal. Key Matchup: Fred Jackson vs Phins run D. If we can shut down Fred Jackson, we should be able to pull this one out, that is the key here.
Game 16: at New England Patriots - Loss 43-29
The Phins will be fighting for playoff seeding here, and will lose this one in frigid Massachusetts. The cold gives the Pats an advantage, and Brady performs admirably to stop us from sweeping them. Tannehill plays well enough to keep up, but the whole team will be gassed by the 4th quarter and the Pats use that to pull away. Key Matchup: Brady vs.Tannehill. The QBs will decide this one,as it turns into a shootout, will be Tannehill's biggest test of the season.
Final Record: 10-6
Projected Tannehill stats: 16 games, 62% completion, 3,800 yds, 34 TDs, 21 INTs, 400 rush yds, 5 rush TDs