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Week 1: Miami Dolphins vs Washington Redskins Preview and Predictions

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Football is back! The first game of Miami’s regular season will see the team head to Washington to take on the Redskins. Can the Dolphins get off to a good start? Check out the game’s preview and predictions right here.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's in Miami's DNA to win now, rather than later. Over the offseason, the team has done a commendable job in attracting top tier talent to galvanize a franchise that, for so long, has offered so much potential, yet has failed to deliver.

In fact, wherever you look, this franchise is set up for success. It's not just the players - the impressive renovations to Sun Life Stadium will make game day for fans that much better.

But the Dolphins aren't playing at home this week. In week 1 they make the short trip north to face a team that is at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Analysts up and down the country claimed Robert Griffin III was streets ahead of Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the 2012 NFL Draft.  In fact, many labelled Tannehill as a 'reach' at number 8 overall in the draft. How wrong they were.

Things haven't gone quite to plan for Griffin. Despite RGIII posing for a snapshot that appeared on all tickets released by Washington for their first home game, Griffin been benched in favor of Kirk Cousins, who is 2-7 as a starter in the NFL.

On the other hand, Ryan Tannehill enters his fourth season 23-25 as a starter. Last season he recorded an impressive 27-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio and threw for over 4,000 passing yards.  Don't bet against those numbers dropping, either, with a re-tooled wide receiver corps that may just be an upgrade on last season's receiving cast.

In front of Tannehill will see the return of Branden Albert, the team's rock at left tackle.  Both Albert and Joe Philbin confirmed this week Albert will return on Sunday following a long period out with a knee injury. He'll be a big boost and will provide a veteran presence to the younger players on the line, including Dallas Thomas, Ja'Wuan James and rookie 2015 fourth round pick Jamil Douglas.

On the other side of the ball, Washington will have to deal with a formidable defensive line featuring one of the best players in the NFL, in Ndamukong Suh, who will likely line up against rookie guard Brandon Scherff.

Behind Suh, it'll be interesting to see how Miami's secondary fare.  Second year safety Walt Atkins will suit up with the first team following the season-ending injury to Louis Delmas. Brice McCain will line up alongside Brent Grimes at corner, but who will he face?  Will Miami trust him to go against DeSean Jackson? If not, can he cover Pierre Garcon, a tall and physical wide receiver that can make things happen with the ball in his hands?

Final Predictions

The buildup to the Dolphins versus the Redskins may be overshadowed by the RGII and Cousins melodrama, but this game will be one to watch.  The moves in the offseason should more than make up for the team's deficiencies. I think Kirk Cousins has starting quality as an NFL quarterback, but going up against a defensive line featuring Ndamukong Suh will prove to be a bridge too far.  I'm going for a Miami win.

Final Score

Miami Dolphins 31-13 Washington Redskins

Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter@AlexParish89.