Espn has released its yearly post draft power rankings, and Miami is ranked right about where they were at the end of last season, 18 out of 32. Basically saying they are competitive but not a playoff team yet. This ranking seems pretty fair because Miami hasn’t played a single snap yet. If the Dolphins play the way they should, after becoming a far more talented team this offseason then they could easily be floating around the top ten when the season comes to an end.
There are three areas that Miami must improve this season to become a playoff team and a team others do not want to face.
Playmaking on defense. Other then Cameron Wake and Rashad Jones no one on the Dolphins defense could make a play. This resulted in many third down conversions by opposing teams. I look at the game against the Colts as a perfect example. Too many times throughout the game the Dolphins were able to get Andrew Luck into a third and long situation, (at times being more then 10 yards) but Luck was able to sit in the pocket and find Reggie Wayne or Donnie Avery for a huge gain, at least 15 yards or more.
With the Additions of players like Dion Jordan and Brent Grimes, Joe Philbin hopes he has found the pieces to be able to make the big play or stop on third down to get their team off the field.
Another big key is explosive plays down the field. This one will mostly rely on Ryan Tannehill, he has to be able to improve his accuracy down the field. Brian Hartline was able to sneak by the secondary a few times last year, only one resulted in one touchdown. Most of the time it was either over or under thrown, but not by much. With the addition of mike Wallace I expect that to happen even more this year. If Tannehill can make the throws, this team will have a very scary offense.
The third may be the biggest of them all. Do your job. More specifically Carpenter make the simple field goals, and Daniel Thomas, protect the ball better. The Dolphins went out and drafted another ground and pound runner in Mike Gillislee from Florida. Thomas may be on his way out if he can’t stop losing the ball, and he needs to start being that short yardage back that the Dolphins needed. Carpenter,who had the chance to win a couple of games for the Dolphins in 2012, He missed three field goals that are very makable early on in the season in clutch situations. The Dolphins picked a kicker in the 5th round to compete with Carpenter, if he can’t make the plays he needs to, his days in Miami are also numbered.