The Miami Dolphins open their preseason schedule for the 2022 season this evening as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a long offseason that has included a head coaching change, a trade for a superstar wide receiver, signing the top free agent on the market, a lawsuit for tanking, a historic punishment for tampering, a voided trade, and more, it is time to turn from the off-field stories and start looking back to the actual results on the field. While today’s game does not actually count toward making the playoffs, it is the first step toward that goal.
How are fans feeling after a long offseason? In April, we polled Dolphins fans to get an idea of how they viewed the direction of the team. After a 2021 season in which our fan confidence poll bounced between 16 percent and 90 percent of the fanbase feeling like the team was headed in the right direction, our post-draft poll showed 95 percent of the fans were confident in the 2022 Dolphins.
Following the tampering punishment, including the loss of a 2023 first-round draft pick, a 2024 third-round draft pick, and suspensions of owner Stephen Ross and vice chairman Bruce Beal, did the confidence of the fans change?
No. Not at all.
In our first preseason fan confidence poll from SB Nation Reacts and DraftKings Sportsbook, we once again saw 95 percent of the Dolphins fans say they are confident in the direction of the team. The 95 percent mark is the highest we have ever seen in this poll, and for it to happen in back-to-back polls nearly four months apart is impressive.
For the first time in team history, the Dolphins sold out season tickets this year and have created a wait list for 2023. Our fan confidence polls shows why that has happened. The fans are excited about this team and expectations are high. Tonight’s preseason game may not bear much weight in what happens when the games really start to count toward a postseason berth, but Miami fans are excited about the team and tonight they get to see them on the field.
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