Hot Take: The Miami Dolphins will not finish with double digit wins this season!

The Miami Dolphins have had an amazing season so far. After the addition of Tyreek Hill, this Miami offense has been lethal, and the Dolphins are ranked #1 on my NFL Power Ranking simply due to their record. But overall, Miami is not the best team in the NFL. There are better overall teams in the league. I think they are going to be very inconsistent this season, as I predicted. Not only do I think they’ll take their first loss of the season, I think they won’t even get double digit wins, and have literally the exact opposite season as last year: starting off amazing and falling off a cliff throughout the year. Here’s why!

We cannot overreact to Tua Tagovailoa’s amazing start. He has 925 passing yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions and has lead the NFL in adjusted yards gained per passes attempt and QBR! He has also completed 71.3% if his passes in the process, while leading Miami to a 3-0 record. Not to mention he also leads the NFL in 4th quarter comebacks and game winning drives. However, this is why he will decline.

It sounds crazy! He has two fast and very good deep wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who are 2nd and 3rd in receiving yards this season. But look at how the Dolphins were held to just 20 and 21 points in Weeks one and three: a combination of pressure and good secondary play to defend the deep ball.

In their first game, Tua was sacked three times by New England, which forced him to have to throw into more uncomfortable situations, having his lowest completion percentage of the season far in that game. In Week 3, it was less pressure from defensive ends, etc. and more great secondary play. Despite not having Micah Hyde in the secondary, the Bills secondary led by 1st team All Pro safety Jordan Poyer. While he had his highest average yards per completion of the season, it was because it was more medium routes. Forcing the Dolphins to not go deep and going towards the middle of the field is not going to differentiate themselves, since their X-Factor is being able to get deep touchdowns are yards after the catch.

But look at the Baltimore game. Tua dominated because the secondary was weak, and the defensive line couldn’t get pressure. But earlier in the game, when Baltimore had great secondary play and was forcing turnovers in the secondary, he struggled. You may be thinking though, why would this work now? This hasn’t worked yet! Well, I have an answer: they simply haven’t had a large enough sample size or have the right competition. But look at their schedule!

Week 4: @ Cincinnati
Week 5: @ New York Jets
Week 6: vs. Minnesota
Week 7: vs. Pittsburgh
Week 8: @ Detroit
Week 9: @ Chicago
Week 10: vs. Cleveland
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: vs. Houston
Week 13: @ San Francisco
Week 14: @ Los Angeles Chargers
Week 15: @ Buffalo
Week 16: vs. Green Bay
Week 17: @ New England
Week 18: vs. New York Jets

I know that’s a lot of weeks so let me feel you in. Let’s break down their wins. I’ll give them both against the Jets, putting them at nine wins. I’ll also give them wins against Houston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and even at home against a weaker Green Bay offense so far this season. But every other game I have a loss! In Cincinnati on primetime against the defending AFC champions will be very tough to win. Minnesota’s offense is going to torch the Dolphins secondary in a win. Detroit has been much more improved, and is scoring points at will (31.7 points so far, 2nd in the NFL) and I think they’ll lose in Chicago to a defense that has played very well this year. I know people will wreck me for that but when you’re going against a good defense on their home turf in the middle of the season, anything could happen!

After the bye and an easy win over the Texans, I have them losing to a very good San Francisco defense (12.3 points allowed, 3rd best in the NFL) and lose in Los Angeles to a Chargers team who despite struggling right now, has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.

And they’ll split with Buffalo, especially in a game in Buffalo in the winter. Buffalo should have beaten them last week. The defense played amazing on Tua and company, and the Josh Allen threw for 400 yards on that secondary. They would have been able to capitalize on more points if Stefon Diggs hadn’t struggled due to the heat and if Gabe Davis wasn’t playing injured. And yet with those things the Dolphins defense almost blew it, putting a Buffalo a spike away from probably winning the game! I don’t know if that means the Dolphins secondary is bad, if Josh Allen is good, or a combination of both? But to see Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson throw for a combined 718 yards in two games is not a good look at all!

After beating Green Bay, I think they’ll lose in New England, considering the secondary held Miami to just 20 points in their first meeting, and the Patriots usually split with their divisional opponents. It makes sense huh? I think it also makes sense statistically. They are going against some really great defensive lines to pressure Tua. The Steelers had the best pass rush in the NFL last season, The Vikings had 51 sacks (2nd in the NFL), the Bears were 4th with 49 sacks, and the 49ers were tied for 5th with 48 sacks! This season they haven’t been as good but I think they’ll be able to get pressure on Tua, also considering he’s only been sacked five times this season and has lost 43 yards total, meaning he’s lost over eight yards per sack!

Also, the top five sack leaders in the NFL currently, Alex Highsmith (Pittsburgh), Jerry Hughes (Houston), Khalil Mack (LA Chargers), Deatrich Wise (New England) and Nick Bosa (San Francisco), are all on teams Miami is going to face later on this season! I think Tua may have same problems against pass rushers like that. And the Dolphins offensive line isn’t anything so special! It’s rated the 23rd best offensive line by PFF. Miami also doesn’t have the run game to open up the pass game if they start having trouble. They are 31st in rushing yards per game this season!

I am not completely against Miami or anything! They’re No.1 on mt power rankings right now! I just wouldn’t overreact to their early season success, because it’s about to be a much more challenging and disappointed next 14 games, and it starts tonight against the Cincinnati Bengals!


Chase Coburn

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