The Miami Dolphins are 6-6 on the season and one game out of the AFC Playoffs. It has been a rocky year for the South Florida franchise, with injuries, play calling, penalties, and poor execution offsetting touchdowns, individual performances, Pro Bowl caliber seasons, and breakout performances. It is a roller coaster of a season, and the fan confidence in the team mirrors that.
Every week, our FanPulse poll gives fans the chance to vote on their confidence in the direction of the Dolphins. This season, the confidence has ranged from as high as 86 percent of the respondents saying the liked the direction of the team to as low as 26 percent saying the same thing. Over the past few weeks, the percentage of confident fans has slowly been increasing, going from that low of 26 percent in Week 9 to 30 percent in Week 10, 37 percent in Week 11, 39 percent in Week 12, and 45 percent in Week 13. This week, the confidence fell one percentage point down to 44 percent.
Hovering just below the 50 percent mark seems to make sense for the Dolphins fan right now. There is plenty about which to be frustrated right now. The defense is allowing too may chunk plays, while the offense cannot seem to find a rhythm and get out of its own way. At the same time, the interceptions this team can create as well as the up-and-coming players like Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick give hope for the future of the club.
At 6-6, the Dolphins are sitting at .500. The fans having a confidence level that nearly matches that .500 record is fitting.
As for in the AFC East, the Dolphins are third in fan confidence. The New England Patriots are (not surprisingly) in the lead with 79 percent of their fans confidence in their direction. The Buffalo Bills have 64 percent of their fans confident in the team. The Dolphins then follow at 44 percent. The New York Jets have just two percent of their fans trusting the direction of the team.
This weekend will feature the Dolphins hosting the Patriots in the second-half of the annual home-and-home series for the division rivals. A win against New England will let Miami continue to fight for a playoff spot. It could also give fans the confidence in the team to push them back over 50 percent in our poll.