This week, SB Nation asked me a question to answer here on the site. That question was the vaguely worded, “What do they get wrong about the Miami Dolphins?” Who is they? That may actually be the point of the question. In this case, I think “they” are everyone in the national media and how they view the Dolphins. Last year’s 10-6 team was the surprise team in the playoffs, but “they” expected to see a return to the norm this year.
Even Las Vegas expects the Dolphins to underperform compared to last year, giving the team a 7.5 over/under for wins this season.
The Dolphins were barely mentioned in offseason or training camp news cycles from the national media - until Jay Cutler arrived in South Florida. Then, suddenly, they were the talk of the town...for a few days.
The Los Angeles Chargers, a team that was 5-11 in 2016 and lost in Week 1, were a near consensus pick to beat the Dolphins in Week 2 - Miami’s season debut after a chaotic week of avoiding Hurricane Irma and moving team operations to the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp facilities in Oxnard, California.
Instead, Miami left California with a 19-17 win.
Now, the Dolphins will face the New York Jets in Week 3 - a team that appears to be tanking this season. In Week 4, they will “host” the New Orleans Saints in London - a toss up game as both teams deal with the travel and time change. They finally get a true home game in Week 5 when the Tennessee Titans come to Miami, followed by an away game at the Atlanta Falcons, then a Week 7 home game against the Jets. So, assuming they can sweep the Jets and go just 1-2 in the other three game (they could be better, but let’s stick with that assumption), Miami would be 4-2 through the first seven weeks of the season. The 7.5 win over/under seems pretty reachable at that point.
The Dolphins feel like a team that gets forgotten. They are not the dominant New England Patriots, they are not the mess in New York that is the Jets, they are not the flashy team, they are not the darkhorse team that everyone wants to jump onto a bandwagon to say they saw this year’s surprise team. Instead, the Dolphins are a team that has a veteran quarterback who is comfortable in the head coach’s offensive system, they have a stud running back in Jay Ajayi, they have a trio of receivers in DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills who perfectly complement each other, they have a defensive line that features Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, they have Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, they have first-round pick defensive end Charles Harris, and they have up-and-coming cornerback Xavien Howard.
The Dolphins are a team with a lot of pieces coming together to form a really good team.
What do “they” get wrong about the Dolphins?
That they are a forgotten team that can be ignored.