Miami Dolphins: Is This Finally The Dolphins Year?
Everyone this year can see that the Miami Dolphins have a chance to make the playoffs.
Even the Harvard University gave their opinion. Not too long ago the Dolphins were picked by Harvard to play in the Super Bowl. You probably read the headline of the story and thought the same thought that I had in my mind when I read it, “Super Bowl? The Dolphins need to make the playoffs first.”
That thought is true. Yes, the Miami Dolphins have only played in the NFL’s postseason tournament once in the last 13 years. Yes, they have found a way to collapse the last two seasons during the final two games of the year. However, this is 2015 and this is a completely new year.
This season it’s not a matter of if the Dolphins will make the playoffs, it’s a matter of when will they clinch their spot. With Tom Brady on the verge of a four-game suspension, a weakened Jets team with no true starting quarterback, and the Bills still looking for their answer at quarterback, it’s safe to say the Dolphins might be in their best situation in years to finally win the AFC East.
Don’t let the misfortunes of every team in the AFC East diminish anything the Dolphins will achieve this year. Even with every team in the AFC East at full strength, the Dolphins could still be considered as the frontrunner to win the division.
With the signing of Ndamukong Suh, owner Stephen Ross put a memo out to the league and more importantly to the city of Miami that this year’s Dolphins team will be much different. Ross is putting his money where his mouth is and his actions are speaking much louder than his words. In addition to signing Suh to a contract that he couldn’t refuse, he’s also done little things to make the sure coaches, fans and players alike understood what his expectations for the season are. With the renovations to Sun Life Stadium, Ross is building a state of the art NFL stadium that’s going to rival the best stadiums in the league.
Ross wants a competitive team and he’s given the Dolphins all of the keys they need in order to become successful.
This year’s team won’t rely on the shoulders or arms for that case of Ryan Tannehill. However, if they need to rely on their fourth year starting quarterback it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Tannehill in year four looks like he’s getting ready to have the huge season that many fans have been dying to see. People have payed attention to the way that Tannehill’s starting to give orders to his teammates and coaching up teammates on the sidelines. In addition, the way that Tannehill’s played the entire mini-camp, training camp, and now preseason, you can say that he’s starting to finally become way more consistent. The confidence from his game is at all-time high and you can see that when he takes the field.
A part of that confidence comes from the weapons that Tannehill finally has at his disposal. One of the biggest reasons why Tannehill’s poised to lead this Dolphins team to the playoffs is because of the group of wide receivers that he has. Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings, DaVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Rishard Matthews are all going to make big contributions offensively. Furthermore, the signing of Jordan Cameron could play a big part in the way that the Dolphins season plays out if he manages to stay healthy.
— NFL (@NFL) August 29, 2015
Defensively though is the most the Dolphins will have to worry about. The linebacking core is very young and at times they’re not the most well-prepared. However, because of the way that Suh is going to cause havoc on the defensive line, the linebackers will have to do less work to get tackles. Also, the secondary is something that also needs to get shored up. Outside of Brent Grimes, the Dolphins are going to need a second cover corner that can lock down defenders, or at least not get destroyed on routes. Will it be Jamar Taylor, or Brice McCain to take that spot? We’ll have to see. Even though this team is a bit flawed defensively, if Tannehill can help put more points on the board offensively, this defense might not have to work as hard as they did last year.
Is this the year that the Dolphins finally break through? Or is this another year where us fans still come in with optimistic hopes for our beloved fins to see our hopes foil at the end? I spoke prematurely last season when I anointed the Dolphins a playoff team. This year is different. This is the year they breakthrough.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.