Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Phillip Wheeler (52) reacts to making a defensive play against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Intriguing Statistical Projections for the Dolphins

 

Early on in the season, you’ll inevitably hear ridiculous statistics.  Watch any NFL game and you’ll hear them as well.  Early in the season, these numbers are drastically skewed for some players based on one or two good games.  For example, Philip Rivers is currently on track for 56 TD passes with 40 TD passes going to Eddie Royal – which would be more shocking than Peyton Manning throwing for the 112 TD’s and 0 interceptions that he was “on pace” for after week one.   We’ve all heard the announcers throw out ridiculous statistics, game in and game out.  Looking at this, we can take a look at a handful of Dolphins statistics and project what numbers they are on pace for, whether it is realistic or unrealistic, and whether or not they’ll exceed or fall short of those projections.  Projected statistical adjustments will be shown in the “More Realistic” stat line with a more probable adjustment to the numbers.

Passing

Currently on pace for:

Player

ATT

COMP

YDS

TD

INT

SCK

Tannehill

576

376

4728

16

8

72

 

Looking at the stat line above, the completions and attempts seem realistic, the other four categories look a bit skewed by the data so far.  Tannehill should throw for more than 4000 yards, which represents a huge step forward from last year.  Consider that only three teams threw for more yards last year than Tannehill’s current projected total.  With the weapons he has, and the talent he has shown thus far in a more pass happy offense, Tannehill should find the end one a little more regularly.  As a sophomore QB he also will probably make a few more mistakes. Based on this, we should see both the TD’s and INT’s go up a bit from the current projected totals.  For the number of times sacked, I can’t help but believe this total will trend downwards as the Dolphins only allowed 35 sacks all season last year and while I expect them to allow more than last season, I don’t expect that total to double.

More realistic stat line:

Player

ATT

COMP

YDS

TD

INT

SCK

Tannehill

576

376

4300

25

10

48

 

Rushing

Currently on Pace For:

Player ATT YDS TD
Miller

192

576

8

Thomas

128

352

8

Tannehill

72

32

0

Clay

8

8

8

 

For Lamar Miller, we should see better yardage down the stretch than what he is currently on track for.  While he hasn’t shown anything yet that leads me to believe he’ll finish with 1000 yards, 800 yards and 8 TD’s in a pass heavy offense should be reasonable for him.  Daniel Thomas has looked terrible outside of being a receiver out of the backfield, and may see his touches begin to go to Mike Gillislee before the season is out.  The interesting one to watch here is Clay, as the team used him at the goal line last week, and if he begins to vulture the short yardage and goal line carries, he could put up some intriguing statistics both rushing and receiving at the goal line.

 

More realistic stat line:

Player ATT YDS TD
Miller

192

800

8

Thomas

128

352

3

Tannehill

72

150

0

Clay

5

12

2

 

 

Receiving

Currently on Pace For:

Player REC YDS TD
Hartline

112

1456

8

Clay

80

1304

0

Wallace

80

1040

8

Gibson

64

704

0

Miller

24

104

0

Thomas

16

120

0

 

Brian Hartline will almost certainly not catch for just under 1500 yards, though I love him as a player.  Same holds true for Clay and his projected 1300 yards, it simply won’t happen.   Clay and Gibson will serve as safety valves, and should both get in the neighborhood of 50-60 catches in the Dolphins pass-heavy attack.  With Wallace taking the pressure off via double teams and going over the top more than other players, we may see Hartline take the team lead yet again in both receptions and yards, while Wallace leads the charge in the most important category – touchdowns.  I’ll also say it here, while it’s not reflected in the table, both Dion Sims and Michael Egnew will find the end one for the first time in their careers this season.

 

More realistic stat line:

Player REC YDS TD
Hartline

102

1155

5

Clay

50

725

4

Wallace

80

1040

8

Gibson

64

704

5

Miller

24

104

3

Thomas

16

120

1

 

 

Other statistics of note:

Some other notable projections based on simple math on the defensive side of the ball entertain me a bit, and I’m sure some of you out there will find them intriguing.  The only player on a possibly realistic track in the sack category is Cam Wake, who is currently projected at 20 sacks.  I believe the total will more realistically be around 16 sacks or so, but 20 is not out of the question, either.  In the completely ridiculous category, Derrick Shelby is not only on pace for 16 sacks, but he’s on pace for 16 strip sacks – a completely perfect example of how unrealistic these projections can be.  Randy Starks is on pace for 12 sacks, while Jared Odrick is on pace for 0 sacks.  We should see Shelby, Starks and Odrick settle out somewhere in the 6-10 sack range.  This IS a Dolphins team that could put up some special numbers in their sack totals this season.

To continue the unrealistically ridiculous category, with only 1 game under his belt this season, Dmitri Patterson is on pace for 16 interceptions, while Nolan Carroll and Brent Grimes are on pace for 8 int’s.  Neither Patterson or Carroll will probably see these numbers, and as the season goes on we may see Carroll lose time to promising rookies Will Davis and Jamar Taylor.  The intriguing one here is Grimes.  While he is most likely not going to reach 8 int’s, he has the potential to do so. We should see at least a couple from Reshad Jones as well.

Team:

I’d be completely remiss if I didn’t take a moment to project the Dolphins final win total for the season, and while I’m sure some will call this unrealistic, I believe the Dolphins finish in the 11-12 win range.  With a schedule that lightens up significantly in just a couple of weeks, and an AFC East that looks completely weak across the board, let’s be a little optimistic and say the Dolphins wrap the regular season at 12-4, but lose in the AFC Championship game in a tight game against the Texans.  For the record, I have the Patriots missing the playoffs for the first time in years.

What are your projections for the Dolphins this season, both individually and as a team?

Keep reading, Fins fans!

 

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