The Dolphins exceeding fan and media expectation last season as Adam Gase was able to lead this team to the playoffs in his first season.
The team was able to make it the postseason thanks to the contribution of many of their players. Jay Ajayi emerged as one of the NFL’s top running backs, while Kenny Stills seemed to be scoring on a weekly basis.
Let’s take a look at a few guys who could regress this season, stats wise.
WR Kenny Stills
Stills had a great season acting as the Dolphins deep threat. He recorded 9 touchdowns which was the most of his young career. Stills is only 25 and can still continue to grow as a player. But enter DeVante Parker.
Parker is expected to take a HUGE leap this season as he has earned constant praise from coaches, players, and the media. The rise of Parker may mean that Stills will not see as many targets as he did last season. I still think Stills will put up some good numbers, but I don’t believe he will get near the 9 touchdown mark again.
RB Jay Ajayi
This one kind of pains me, as I do not expect the J-Train to falter in 2017. Ajayi had a breakout year and was the Dolphins MVP last season. But there is always that chance that he may regress in the slightest.
After missing Week 1 and finally getting a chance to prove himself in Week 6, Ajayi took the NFL by storm as he had back to back 200 yard games. After those two games though, Ajayi only eclipsed the 100 yard mark twice (he had another 200 yard game in Week 16).
There is so much upside to Ajayi this season that everyone expects him to be the focal point of this offense. But there is just that slight chance that he doesn’t live up to expectations.
LB Kiko Alonso
In his first season with the team, Alonso made a career rebound as he recorded 115 tackles, the most on the team. If you also remember, Alonso was the reason the Dolphins won against the Chargers.
Now why will Alonso regress? There is simply more talent around him as he will have Lawrence Timmons with him, and hopefully Raekwon McMillan. The Dolphins had a pretty beat up linebacker room last season with Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins, which forced players like Spencer Paysinger to start.
With the addition of Timmons, it adds another competent player to the room which means Alonso will not have to make all the plays/tackles this season.
This was a rather tough short list to make as there weren’t that many great, statistical, choices to choose from. It was easy to choose Ajayi due to his great season, but like I stated above, I don’t see him regressing. So don’t read too much into that one. But there is always that one player that just doesn’t play as well after a good season.
Interested to hear what other people may think. Leave a comment below!