If you have read anything this offseason about the Miami Dolphins written by any of the national media sources, you probably could guess how a 2018 NFL Power Rankings released by Bleacher Report just before the start of the preseason would go for the Dolphins. You would be exactly right.
And, yes, I know many of you will write me about how power rankings are dumb in the first place. Yet, we all love to read them and debate them.
You see, on Friday, Kyle Newport from B/R released his “Where each team stands as the season approaches” power rankings. Near the top, it consists of the teams you would expect: the Philadelphia Eagles, the New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Rams, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Pittsburgh Steelers make up the top five. But then the scrolling starts. And it really does not stop.
You have to scroll past the Houston Texans, who need a quarterback to return from an ACL tear and have a spectacular season and are hoping their star defensive end can actually play this year. They get the benefit of the doubt in landing at 13th in the rankings.
You have to scroll past the Dallas Cowboys, who will be betting on a rebound for Dak Prescott this season after a fall off during his second year in the league. They are 14th in the league.
You have to scroll past the Cincinnati Bengals, who somehow still have Marvin Lewis as their coach, a surprise around most of the league. They are 16th in the rankings.
You have to scroll past the New York Giants, who had the second-worst record in the NFL in 2017 and are hoping Eli Manning, who was benched for a game last year, will be better this year. They come in at 17 in these power rankings.
You have to scroll past the Denver Broncos, who are betting on Case Keenum as their starter this year, are 24th.
You have to scroll past the Cleveland Browns, who have won once in the last 32 two seasons, but manage to land at 26.
You have to scroll past the Buffalo Bills, who got rid of their starting quarterback from last year, after breaking a 17-year drought from the playoffs, and will now rely on either A.J. McCarron or rookie Josh Allen under center, but are 27th in the rankings.
You have to scroll past the New York Jets, who still do not have a clear starting quarterback, with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater the likely opening-day starter, but rookie Sam Darnold most likely taking over at some point this year. Yet, they are ranked 28th.
Hey, there are the Dolphins. They come in with a 31st ranking. Only the Indianapolis Colts, who have a quarterback who, until recently, had not been able to throw an NFL football in a year because of his shoulder, are behind the Dolphins. Miami’s 31st ranking is explained by Newport writing:
Ryan Tannehill returns from injury, but he finds himself surrounded by a much different roster.
Suh, Landry, Mike Pouncey and Lawrence Timmons are among those gone. Veterans Frank Gore and Danny Amendola have been brought in to help out in their place. In the end, though, there’s just not enough around Tannehill right now to make the Dolphins contenders.
There is not enough around Tannehill to make Miami a contender. There is not a running back who led the league in rushing yards after being made the starter near the end of the season. Oh, wait, there is Kenyan Drake. Add Drake to Gore, who has not rushed for less than 850 yards in a season since 2005, and the Dolphins appear to be pretty solid at running back - without mentioning rookie Kalen Ballage.
There is not a set of receivers that have the high-potential number one DeVante Parker (who admittedly needs to actually show up for the entire season), Kenny Stills providing a deep threat do-everything type, and Amendola giving the team the slot receiver to replace Landry. They also do not have Albert Wilson as another deep threat and Jakeem Grant who is yet another deep threat who can play all over the offense and, despite his size, creates mismatches from his speed and vertical.
There is not a highly-touted rookie tight end in Mike Gesicki, along with solid tight ends MarQueis Gray and A.J. Debry.
There just is nothing around Tannehill this year other than Gore and Amendola.
Guess the Dolphins should just quit.
I guess your point that power rankings are dumb fits in this case.