The NFL Preseason is getting underway, which means we are starting to see the return of NFL Power Rankings. Updating his rankings from just after the NFL Draft back in May, Around the NFL writer Dan Hanzus posted his first set of rankings of the summer on NFL.com yesterday. How do the Miami Dolphins stack up in his rankings?
At the top of the rankings, Hanzus does not give us any surprises. He starts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, keeping them in the number one spot as they begin defense of their Super Bowl title. He follows the Buccaneers with the AFC Champion, as the Kansas City Chiefs land in the second spot. Miami’s AFC East rival Buffalo Bills take the third position, with the Green Bay Packers fourth and the Baltimore Ravens rounding out the top five. None of the top five teams saw a change from Hanzus’ May rankings.
As for the Dolphins, they are in the 15th position, one spot down from their post-Draft rankings, and one spot behind the second AFC East team on the list, the New England Patriots. Of the Dolphins’ position, Hanzus wrote:
Crisis averted with Xavien Howard, who returned to practice with Miami shortly before agreeing to a restructured contract that resulted in a modest raise for the All-Pro cornerback. It’s the best possible outcome for the Dolphins, who believe they are ready to make a move in the AFC and shouldn’t be in the business of trading their best players over salary disputes. Howard has 22 interceptions since entering the league in 2016 — only Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (23) has more in that span.
The Dolphins in the 14-15 ranges actually seems fair to me right now. I think they should probably be ahead of the Patriots, but it is not enough to call it blatantly wrong. Miami is going to be looking to jump into the playoff picture and claim a spot among the top teams in the league this year, but they have to prove themselves still. From the 15th position, they can climb nicely up the rankings as they show they are capable of taking the next step.
Just to round out the AFC East, the New York Jets land in the 28th position on the rankings.
What do you think of Miami’s spot in Hanzus’ pre-season week one power rankings?