At 5-3 on the year, the Miami Dolphins are positioning themselves to make a push toward the AFC Playoffs in 2022. They have demonstrated the explosive offensive predicted when they traded for wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason, and now they have added reinforcements on defense as the team traded for linebacker Bradley Chubb just ahead of the NFL trade deadline.
Our weekly SB Nation Reacts polls covered all the actions of the Dolphins, along with our fan confidence poll. The Dolphins also showed up in some of the national polls this week. When asked which deadline trade was the most surprising, Chubb being traded from the Denver Broncos to the Dolphins came in third, with 16 percent of the national audience responding to the option. Christian McCaffrey being traded to the San Francisco 49ers took the top spot, coming in with 23 percent of the vote.
The trade of McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers to San Francisco cleared the way for the Dolphins’ second trade of the deadline buildup. After making the deal for Chubb, a trade that included sending running back Chase Edmonds to the Broncos, Miami made a deal with the 49ers to acquire running back Jeff Wilson, Jr.
As part of the SB Nation Reacts polls for this week, we asked for Dolphins fans to grade Miami’s two trades. A majority of the fans (57 percent) responded with an A grade for the two trades, while 38 percent gave the deals a B. After that, four percent went with a C grade while one percent voted for a D.
Nationally, the Dolphins came in as the second-biggest winner of the trade deadline, with 25 percent of the respondents voting for Miami. The 49ers, with the trade for McCaffrey, ranked ahead of Miami, with 48 percent of the answers indicating they were the biggest winners of this year’s trade deadline. The Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Atlanta Falcons were all also included in the poll results, ranking from 11 percent for Chicago, Miami’s Week 9 opponent who traded away defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith while acquiring multiple draft picks and wide receiver Chase Claypool, down to two percent for the Falcons.
The NFL season is eight weeks old, nearing the mid-way mark of the year. With that in mind, we asked two questions. The first was for the Dolphins’ MVP. Which player, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, or safety Jevon Holland, is the team’s MVP through the first eight weeks? In what is probably not a surprise, 60 percent of Dolphins fans voted for Hill as the team’s most valuable player, while 37 percent voted for Tagovailoa. Two percent selected Waddle while one percent looked toward Holland as the team’s MVP.
Sticking with Hill, we also asked for a projection of his full-season receiving yardage total. Hill has 961 receiving yards through eight games, putting him on pace to be the first receiver in league history to surpass 2,000 yards. Will he actually reach that mark? According to our polls, the fans think he will come close, but might not actually hit 2,000 yards. The SB Nation Reacts poll result had 49 percent of the response come in for 1,801 to 2,000 yards for Hill’s final tally - right around the 1,964 yards Calvin Johnson reached in 2012 to set the league record. Behind that, 24 percent believe Hill surpasses 2,000 yards, while 18 percent see him finishing between 1,501 and 1,800 yards.
Finally, our fan confidence poll jumped back up near our all-time high. During the preseason, 95 percent of the fans said they were confident in the direction of the team. By Week 3, it had moved to an all-time high of 98 percent, then rose to 99 percent in Week 4. Following the concussion injury sustained by Tagovailoa, the confidence in the team began to fall dropping to 89 percent in Week 5, then down to 79 percent in Week 6. With the news Tagovailoa would be returning, it ticked up to 82 percent of the fans confident in Miami’s direction in Week 7. It rose again in Week 8, climbing to 88 percent. This week, it’s testing the all-time high mark, jumping up to 97 percent of the fans confident in the direction of the Dolphins.
Miami faces the Chicago Bears later today as a part of the NFL’s Week 9 schedule. With a win, will the fan confidence poll once again reach the 99 percent mark? With a loss, will it fall? Can Hill stay on pace for an NFL record or will he start to fall off some and land in the 1,801 to 2,000-yard range? We will have a better idea after the game and will be back with more poll questions next week.