We have all heard how the Miami Dolphins of 2018 are destined to become one of the worst teams in the league. All offseason and throughout the summer, that has been the story-to-tell when it comes to whatever is happening in and around South Florida. It is the thing to do, and everyone wants in on the fun.
How bad is it? I searched the internet to find the regular season predictions for the 2018 version of the NFL. Here is Miami’s record according to multiple websites, and, when available, the explanation for the record:
2-14 - UPDATE: OOPS. Miami is 3-0 after Week 3.
The depletion of Miami’s roster in the offseason was overstated, but we’re not going to pretend the Dolphins can compete in the AFC. Naturally, all eyes will be on QB Ryan Tannehill in his return from the knee injury that cost him all of last season. Depending on his play, Miami could be looking at QBs with a position near the top of the draft board in 2019.
3-13 - UPDATE: OOPS. Miami is 4-2.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has missed the past 20 games for the Dolphins, and if he misses another, either Brock Osweiler or David Fales will start in his place. That’s the main reason for giving Miami its worst record since 2007. Tannehill has said he’ll wear a brace on the knee that he injured twice before having surgery that kept him out of the 2017 season, and this team is too dependent on his health for my liking. While the Dolphins added some nice pieces in guard Josh Sitton, receiver Danny Amendola and rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, losing Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey outweighs those positives.
Pivotal game: Week 12 at Indianapolis
The Dolphins have one of the latest byes available, in Week 11. So here’s where they can fight to save their season and finish with some respect, or limp to the finish for a second straight year. Miami’s post-bye response will tell us what we need to know about this group.
4-12 - Update: OOPS. Miami is 5-4.
Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Dolphins after head coach Adam Gase decided his team needed a new direction. Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey—arguably the team’s best three players—are all gone. In their place, Miami targeted veteran free agents with winning experience. However, Frank Gore, Danny Amendola and Josh Sitton can only do so much, as they’re all on the downside of their careers. Each of the Dolphins’ last five games is against a team that made the playoffs last season.
5-11 - Update: OOPS. Miami is 6-6 after Week 13.
6-10 - Update: OOPS. Miami is 7-6 after Week 14.
The Dolphins finished 6-10 last season with Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry and Mike Pouncey. They will be hard-pressed to improve on that win total -- even with Ryan Tannehill returning -- with those three standouts elsewhere. Danny Amendola and Frank Gore were nice offseason additions, but the Dolphins will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
Coach Adam Gase says Ryan Tannehill learned a lot by watching while injured in 2017. We’ll see. This team looks significantly different on both sides of the ball, which probably means consistent inconsistency.
The Dolphins should win seven games (to hit their over) if Ryan Tannehill is healthy, but if he goes down Adam Gase will have his work cut out to keep the plane from veering into the mountain.
Last season, the Dolphins’ offense posted the NFL’s worst conversion rate on third down (31.7 percent). This will need to change for the Fins to have a shot at the playoffs -- and it will depend on the health and production of Ryan Tannehill.
The return of Ryan Tannehill should help Miami bounce back from a lost 2017, but the roster has seen too many changes to assume Adam Gase can get back to the playoffs after making the postseason as a first-year coach in 2016. The Dolphins feel like a middling team teetering on another rebuild. Late-season games hosting the Patriots and Jaguars, and on the road against Minnesota, could determine their season. -- Mike Rodak
Adam Gase was brought to Miami to produce an efficient offense, and to help Ryan Tannehill get to the next level as a starting quarterback. It’s time he delivers a top-16 offense, which is what the Dolphins will need to be relevant this season.
The good news is the Dolphins should be better this season, with Ryan Tannehill’s return. The bad news is with so many of the top-tier players leaving in the offseason, the Dolphins won’t be a lot better this season. Culture only gets you so far.
I get a lot of flak because I am a big fan of Ryan Tannehill, and I know he’s been kind of up and down. He’s struggled with injury, but I do believe he’s a talented quarterback.
I don’t look at the Dolphins as being a playoff contender. I look at them as being more of an 8-8, 7-9 team. But if he can get on a roll, if he can get hot and build his confidence, then this is a team that definitely can play that spoiler-type role. But I don’t look at the Dolphins as being that playoff team yet.
Note: Salguero has an explanation of the standings, but it is lengthy so if you want to read it, head over to his article using the link above.
The Dolphins should benefit from playing in a division that is one injury to a 41-year-old quarterback from being arguably the worst in football. And, the offense appears set to be above-average or even better as long as Ryan Tannehill stays upright and DeVante Parker shows up for 16 games.