Miami Dolphins-Predicted record-6-10
After numerous offensive miscues; under-utilizing Reggie Bush (1,086 yards in 2011, 986 yards in 2012), poor play by first round pick Ryan Tannehill (3,294 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions) and red zone ineffectiveness, Miami finished 7-9 last season.
Perhaps more saddening than Tannehill’s lack-luster play, was the Dolphins’ lack of a running game.
Although Reggie Bush’s yards per carry average suffered, many of his carries, especially on 3rd down and in the red zone, were lost to Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller. This created noticeable confusion and perhaps some instability for the Dolphins’ running backs last season.
Miami did have some bright spots in Brian Hartline; who caught for over 1,000 yards, but only managed 1 touchdown the entire season.
If this Dolphins team is going to get any better, they have to find a way to get Hartline the ball in the red zone and score some touchdowns.
The addition of former Pittsburgh speed demon Mike Wallace (averaging 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns each of his last 4 seasons) should give this Miami defense some much needed help, especially when going deep down the field.
The real question with this Miami offense is the Quarterback situation.
Ryan Tannehill last season simply did not get it done and I am not so sure Matt Moore is the guy you want out there either. Last season Tannehill was ranked 27th with a Total QBR of 76.1, 1.3 lower than Jaguars Quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Perhaps one reason could be his offensive line (35 sacks let up last season, T-14th in the NFL), however Aaron Rodgers offensive line let up a whopping 51 sacks last season and Rodgers still threw for 38 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards.
Hopefully 2nd-year man Tannehill can hone in his Quarterbacking skills and improve his play in his Sophomore season.
Another possible option if Tannehill gets pulled early on, is to have back-up Matt Moore pass to Tannehill, who surprisingly was a WR in his first two seasons at A&M.
Unfortunately, Moore, the 7th year man out of Oregon State hasn’t been the most productive QB in the NFL. Over his entire career with the Panthers and Dolphins, Moore has only passed over 300 yards once.
Picking up this team from its 7-9 mark last season could be a challenge for this Dolphins offense.
Likewise, with Reggie Bush off to Detroit, it is up to 3rd year man Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller to carry the burden of rushing the football.
It was a foolish move on Miami’s part to draft Miller, especially considering Bush’s all-around ability and Thomas’s position in the offense. Bush should have been given the majority of carries, instead of being a primarily 1st and 2nd down back.
Regardless, looking at what the Dolphins have right now in Thomas and Miller we don’t know what we are going to expect.
With Daniel Thomas we could see the once explosive Wildcat, who with Kansas State rushed for over 1,500 yards, 5.3 yards per carry and 19 touchdowns in his sophomore season or the disappointing 3.6 yards per carry, 3 fumbles Thomas that we saw last season.
I think it will be Lamar Miller that will take this Dolphins offense far, last season he amassed an impressive 4.9 yards per carry ratio and 300 yards from scrimmage considering he was 3rd behind Thomas and Bush last season. Watch for Miller to show his speed from his college days in Miami (averaged 5.8 yards per carry over his career).
Furthermore, this season is most likely going to be, not a rebuilding season, but rather a determining season for the Dolphins. Basically, 2013 is a season where the starters will have to prove themselves and work together so that next season they will have meshed into a working, well-oiled machine. By the end of 2013, we should see a clear QB and clear RB in Miami, who exactly they are is question I’ll leave the Football gods to decide.
Along with an at-times sputtering offense, Miami’s defense was competitive, but not the same shut down defense that it once was.
Although Miami was ranked 7th in the league in points allowed (19.8 points per game), it overall defense suffered. Ranked 21stin total defense, Miami’s pass defense was horrendous, allowing a 27th ranked 248.4 passing yards per game along with 19 touchdowns to opposing Quarterbacks.
The problem has been an extremely weak secondary consisting of Richard Marshall, Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones and Brent Grimes.
In 2012, Miami’s defense only defended 68 passes, ranked 22nd in the league and could see worse this season as the Dolphins’ best pass defender, Sean Smith, is now a Kansas City Chief.
Luckily, their line backing corps and front line are as sturdy as they come by.
Lead by all-pro Cameron Wake, the Dolphin’s front 4 consists of: ten-year veteran Randy Starks (4.5 sacks, 27 combined tackles in 2012, down from 2009, 7.0 sacks, 56 combined tackles), Paul Soliai (1.5 sacks, 29 combined tackles, down from 2010, 2.0 sacks, 39 combined tackles), and Miami-native Oliver Vernon, who in his rookie year had 3.5 sacks and 32 combined tackles.
Their line backing corps is the most powerful in the game with: former Colt and Raider LB Philip Wheeler (109 combined tackles, 3.0 sacks for Oakland in 2012), former super bowl champion, Raven LB Dannell Ellerbe (92 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks in 13 games for the 2012 Ravens), and 4th year man Koa Misi (65 combined tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in 2012).
Hopefully new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle can transform this weak secondary back into its 2010 form when the Miami defense was ranked 7th in the league in yards allowed.
In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Coyle stated, “There were a number of things we did well last year, but there’s a number of areas, particularly the big plays in the passing game and the turnovers, the takeaways, that we were not close to achieving what we want.
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