The Miami Dolphins do not get much respect when it comes to the national media. Ridiculous examples abound this week as the team heads into a Wildcard playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. ESPN threw the Dolphins onto their “Football Power Index” odds to win the AFC championship as an obvious afterthought. FS1’s “Undisputed” made a background graphic for their discussion on the AFC playoffs - completely leaving the Dolphins off the graphic. It is like the Dolphins do not exist and the AFC only has five teams in the postseason.
While it is not a playoff oriented list, Pro Football Focus did give some love to the Dolphins this week. In their 2016 All-Pro Team listing, Miami shows up with two second-team recognitions and an honorable mention.
Running back Jay Ajayi makes the second-team behind Dallas Cowboys runner Ezekiel Elliott. Ajayi finished the season with an 86.8 grade in PFF’s system, which actually ranked him as the top running back they graded this year. However, Elliott probably does deserve to be ahead of Ajayi on this list. Le’Veon Bell, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back, was PFF’s second-ranked runner between Ajayi and Elliott, but was relegated to the honorable mention position. Of Ajayi’s spot on the second-team, Pff writes, “Jay Ajayi makes the second team after transforming the Miami offense and leading all running backs (minimum of 100 carries) in yards per carry after contact (3.5) and broken tackles (58)—11 more than any other runner on the ground.”
Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was also a second-team selection. He finished the year with an 88.4 grade, the third-best grade for an interior defensive lineman this season, behind just the two first-team selections, the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald (95.6) and the Arizona Cardinals’ Calais Campbell. Joining Suh on the second-team is New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (7th in position grade at 86.0). PFF writes of Suh, “ Ndamukong Suh was again excellent for Miami on the second team.”
Finally, PFF lists special teams ace Michael Thomas as an honorable mention special teamer. He is behind the Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Murray and the Los Angeles Rams’ Cody Davis.