32 Teams in 32 Days: Miami Dolphins

Key Additions

Jay Cutler: After QB Ryan Tannehill sustained a knee injury earlier this offseason, the Dolphins opted to sign recently retired Jay Cutler. Although his reputation and résumé is somewhat of a disappointment, the reunion between Cutler and head coach Adam Gase makes this signing an intriguing one. 

Julius Thomas: Being acquired via trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tight end Julius Thomas has been a disappointment since his days with the Denver Broncos. The blame for Thomas’ lack of success could be put on the Jaguars’ struggling QB Blake Bortles. Let’s see if Thomas can have a resurgence with having Jay Cutler as his QB.

Charles Harris: The Dolphins first round pick Charles Harris can become a star pass rusher alongside Cameron Wake. The Dolphins became frustrated with free agency acquisition Mario Williams last season, and with him gone Harris has a chance to be a productive member of this front seven.

The Offense

There’s loads of question marks with this offense. Starting at QB, Jay Cutler may be serviceable, but he doesn’t know the system just yet and likely hasn’t been training a lot this offseason since he announced his retirement after last season.

At running back, Jay Ajayi had a breakout year last season. However, this offensive line has regressed with the departure of Branden Albert and Ajayi hasn’t solidified himself as the dependable bell cow running back.

As for the receivers, star receiver Jarvis Landry has some issues surrounding an alleged domestic violence incident. Tight end Julius Thomas has slowed down production since he left Denver and he’ll have to create chemistry with Jay Cutler.

The Defense

The dominant section to this defense is starting upfront on the defensive line. With Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Ndamukong Suh and potential starters such as Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor fortify a solid group.

As for the linebackers, Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons will be a good duo. The loss of Raekwon McMillan to season-ending injury will hurt, and the depth at this position is relatively weak.

The secondary is overall quite young and inexperienced. Fortified starters in Reshad Jones and Byron Maxwell can give veteran leadership to this group, but rookie mistakes will slow down the progression of this team this season.

Team Schedule and Season Outlook

Best Case Scenario: (8-8)

With a plethora of injuries even before the season begins as well as a tough schedule, the Dolphins are likely not a playoff team. The Dolphins will go 8-8 if the closer games are won by them and they are relatively lucky with the amount of injuries the team sustains for the rest of the season.

Some games that could become close would be the Week 2 game against the Chargers, the Week 4 game against the Saints and the Week 8 game against the Ravens.

Being in the AFC East, the Patriots consistently reign supreme. I think the Dolphins will win one game against New England, but they’ll also split with Buffalo and they’ll sweep the Jets.

Worst Case Scenario: (5-11)

On the contrary, Miami will become 5-11 if they become injury plagued and the close games don’t go their way.

A lot of this season depends on how well Cutler plays as well. I don’t anticipate Cutler becoming a star QB who’ll lead his team into the playoffs, but I could see him being on par with an Alex Smith like performance.

My Predictions

Week 1: vs. Tampa Bay

Result: (0-1)

Week 2: @ LA Chargers

Result: L (0-2)

Week 3: @ NY Jets

Result: (1-2)

Week 4: vs. New Orleans

Result: (1-3)

Week 5: vs. Tennessee

Result: (1-4)

Week 6: @ Atlanta

Result: (1-5)

Week 7: vs. NY Jets

Result: (2-5)

Week 8: @ Baltimore

Result: W (3-5)

Week 9: vs. Oakland

Result: (3-6)

Week 10: @ Carolina

Result: (3-7)

Week 11: Bye Week

Week 12: @ New England

Result: (4-7)

Week 13: vs. Denver

Result: (5-7)

Week 14: vs. New England

Result: (5-8)

Week 15: @ Buffalo

Result: W (6-8)

Week 16: @ Kansas City

Result: (6-9)

Week 17: vs. Buffalo

Result: (6-10)

In conclusion, the Dolphins will fail to make it to the playoffs because of their tough schedule and tough QB situation. I don’t think it’s worth it for the Dolphins to tank, but expect Miami to be somewhere in the middle of the pack this season.


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