The last time the Miami Dolphins were on the field, they were losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9. Fast forward almost two weeks and just about everything has gone the Dolphins’ way, even without them having played a game. Sitting at home for their bye week, Miami saw every other team in the AFC East lose, along with almost every team near the Dolphins in the AFC playoff picture. It was a strong week for the Dolphins without them even getting on the field.
How are fans feeling about the direction of the Dolphins coming out of the bye week? Our latest SB Nation Reacts poll, brought to us by brought to us by DraftKings Sportsbook, is here to answer those questions.
Dolphins’ fan confidence
Despite Miami not playing in Week 10, the fan confidence ticked up slightly in this week’s poll. Sitting at 93 percent entering the week, the new poll shows a one-percent increase, reaching 94 percent. It is still short of this year’s high mark of 98 percent, but were are still seeing more than nine out of every ten fans say they are confident in the team’s direction in 2023.
This weekend, the Dolphins face the Las Vegas Raiders, who have clawed their way back into playoff contention despite changes at starting quarterback and head coach over the last few weeks. A win from the Dolphins this weekend could see Miami’s fans once again pushing toward a consensus of fans feeling confident about the team.
2023 fan confidence history:
Preseason - 83%
Week 1 - 97%
Week 2 - 97%
Week 3 - 98%
Week 4 - 89%
Week 5 - 94%
Week 6 - 98%
Week 7 - 75%
Week 8 - 95%
Week 9 - 93%
Week 10 - 94%
Midseason MVP (National questions)
The national survey - distributed via email - asked for the fans’ midseason MVP. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson claimed the top spot in the voting, receiving one-in-five of the responses. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa finished fourth in the vote with 11 percent. If the Dolphins continue to win and the offense finishes the year with the ridiculous stats they are on pace to reach this season, could Tagovailoa become the league’s MVP for 2023? He is at least in the conversation right now.
If you are interested in receiving the national survey each week, sign up here to participate in the emailed surveys.
Midseason Offensive Player of the Year (National questions)
The national survey also asked who should receive the offensive player of the year award at the halfway point of the regular season. With the MVP award becoming the award for the top quarterback of the year, the offensive player of the year recognition typically goes to a wide receiver or running back. The San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey claimed the top spot with 31 percent of the vote. In second place with 30 percent of the responses was Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
Hill is on pace to surpass 2,000 yards receiving this year, a milestone no one in league history has reached. If he were to set the new high-mark for receiving yards in a season, it seems likely this award would be his.
Midseason Rookie of the Year (National questions)
We highlight this award not because it went to someone who does not deserve the recognition but because someone who could be in the conversation was completely snubbed. Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has been playing well this year and likely will win this award. Dolphins running back De’Von Achane was challenging Stroud for the honor prior to a knee injury that landed Achane on the injured reserve list for the last several weeks. He was activated on Saturday and appears set to play in Week 11. Will he be able to put himself back in the conversation over the next few weeks?
Midseason Comeback Player of the Year (National questions)
Tagovailoa finishing second in this award makes a lot of sense. He was sidelined multiple times last year with concussions, including a scary one that included him showing severe symptoms on the field. There were debates among analysts of whether the Dolphins or the NFL needed to step in and tell Tagovailoa his career was over because the analysts believed football could kill the quarterback.
The problem with this poll result is, the player who did die on the field and have to be revived with CPR finished third in the vote. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin must win this award. He has been inactive for the majority of the Bills’ games this year, but he has been on the field in two contests - and the fact that he is even still playing football means he must be the award recipient this season.
The story of Josh Dobbs, who has been on the roster for seven different teams since being a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 and is on his third team this year, is great. Being thrust into a game five days after being traded from the Arizona Cardinals to the Minnesota Vikings, Dobbs brought the Vikings back for a victory - without even knowing the names of most of his teammates and not understanding the playbook. It was an amazing performance - but this vote result is clearly a recency bias vote.
There is no way this is not Hamlin.
AFC playoff picture (through Week 11 Thursday Night Football):
Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Las Vegas Raiders (5-5)
Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
Buffalo Bills (5-5)
Los Angeles Chargers (4-5)
New York Jets (4-5)
Denver Broncos (4-5)
Tennessee Titans (3-6)
New England Patriots (2-8)
- Jaguars over Dolphins based on strength of victory
- Steelers over Browns based on head-to-head results