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Dolphins fan confidence holds steady as NFL playoffs begin; Fans expect short postseason appearance

The NFL’s regular season has ended, with the playoffs starting on Saturday. As Miami prepares to face the Kansas City Chiefs top open their postseason run, how are fans feeling about the team?

NFL: JAN 07 Bills at Dolphins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2024 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, including a Saturday night matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Miami ended the regular season with back-to-back losses to the top two seeds in the AFC playoff picture, pushing them to this road game contest against the third seed in the AFC. Can the Dolphins, who were in position to claim the second seed for themselves if they had not lost both of those contests, bounce back and pull off an upset win in what is expected to be an incredibly cold Kansas City?

Oour SB Nation Reacts poll for this week was a busy one, asking not only our standard fan confidence question, but adding another three questions, looking at the past, the present, and the future for the Dolphins. Brought to us by DraftKings Sportsbook, our survey asked for fans to grade the season that just ended, provide us with how far they think the Dolphins will go in the current playoff tournament, and what the Dolphins need the most to prepare for the 2024 regular season. Time to take a look at the results.

Dolphins’ fan confidence

Last week, we saw the Dolphins’ fan confidence rating plummet from 94 percent following Miami’s Week 16 win over the Dallas Cowboys to 58 percent following their Week 17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. With an additional loss, this time to the Buffalo Bills, a loss that cost Miami a home playoff game and the AFC East division title, how are fans feeling?

Exactly the same as they were before the Bills game. Our fan confidence poll held steady, coming in with 58 percent of the fans responding they are confident in the direction of the Dolphins. With the team’s Wild Card round game on Saturday, how will the fan confidence change? Our next SB Nation Reacts poll should be interesting.

2023 fan confidence history (poll taken after results from listed week):

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%
Week 11 - 92%
Week 12 - 96%
Week 13 - 99%
Week 14 - 40%
Week 15 - 91%
Week 16 - 94%
Week 17 - 58%
Week 18 - 58%

2023 Miami Dolphins regular season grade

With the conclusion of the regular season, it felt like a perfect time to ask for how the fans would grade Miami’s year. It was definitely an up-and-down ride - and the confidence poll graph would suggest - but as the dust settled at the end of Week 18, the Dolphins were 11-6 for the season and had qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year. Was that enough to earn Miami a high mark?

According to our respondents, it was a solid B grade for Miami this year, coming in with 61 percent of the votes. A C was second with 26 percent of the responses, while A (6 percent), D (5 percent), and F (2 percent) all were distant finishers. A B grade feels right for Miami, especially with the struggles over the season’s final two weeks. The team battled through injuries all year, but they were not able to keep up the high-flying offensive attack down the stretch and the defense finally seemed to succumb to the mounting number of starters and key rotational players finding themselves sidelined or on injured reserve with various issues.

How far will Miami go in the playoffs?

Our “present” question asked for your prediction of how far into the playoffs Miami would run this year. According to the vote, the expectation is the team will not go far. On 35 percent of the votes indicated Miami will make it past Saturday night’s game against the Chiefs. One-and-done is the expected result for the Dolphins, according to the 65 percent of the fans who voted for the Wild Card round as the extent of Miami’s playoff run.

The Dolphins did not do themselves any favors by losing their way out of the AFC East title and the right to host a playoff game this weekend. Instead of home field advantage and the South Florida weather, they will be playing in Arrowhead Stadium with the windchill at game time expected to be near minus-35 degrees Fahrenheit. It is going to be a tough night for Miami, and the fans seem to think that it will be the end of Miami’s Super Bowl dreams for this season.

Dolphins Biggest 2024 Need

While the team is still focused on the Chiefs and the playoffs, it is also time to start thinking ahead toward the 2024 regular season and what Miami needs to do for next year. We asked which position group on the roster, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, is Miami’s biggest need for 2024.

The offensive line received 46 percent of the vote, easily outpacing the rest of the position groups. Linebacker was second with 32 percent, followed by cornerback and defensive line, both receiving 11 percent of the vote. The offensive line winning this vote does make sense, especially as the team looks forward to whenever Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead retires and for reinforcements at the interior linemen positions where injuries crushed the team this season.

National Survey

SB Nation Reacts also offers a national survey each week, emailing it to anyone who has registered. This week, there were no Dolphins-related answers to highlight, but if you would like to join in on the national survey as well, check out the link below.

If you want to receive the national survey each week, sign up here to participate in the emailed surveys.

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