The Miami Dolphins have trimmed down their roster and now get ready for the grueling task of traveling out West to start their season against the Seahawks. But as we’ve seen in the past, upsets aren’t that uncommon in the NFL, particularly in the first week of the season.
As soon as the Miami Dolphins’ schedule came out, the faces on the fans of South Florida’s NFL franchise grimaced in despair. Their eyes rolled in the back of their heads. Some fans—even the impractical ones—were complacent with the thought of having a losing record after week one.
The season-opener read: at Seattle. Wow, what a brutal way to start a season.
Traveling to the opposite end of the country to play a Super Bowl-contender in a hostile environment is a tough task; this task becomes more difficult when you add in the fact that this Dolphins team is led by a rookie head coach that’s still in the process of changing a culture that has produced one of the most mediocre teams in the NFL the past decade.
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CenturyLink Field in Seattle is one of the hardest places in the NFL to play. Considering that the Dolphins will probably be without three key-starters (C Mike Pouncey, WR DeVante Parker, and LB Jelani Jenkins) for Sunday’s contest, any chance at pulling off an upset against the Seahawks quickly disappears. Obviously, with all things considered, not many people expect the Dolphins to come out of Seattle with a win. Although you won’t see a prediction here, I believe, more than most, that the Dolphins do have a chance.
Allow us all to find our inner-Jim Carrey and impersonate his character Lloyd Christmas’s line in the 1994 cult classic Dumb and Dumber: “so you’re saying there’s a chance?” Now that that’s out of our system, let’s get real. There’s no better week to play one of the NFL’s best teams than opening week. This is the week that teams are the most unprepared; it’s the week that teams, including a successful team like the Seahawks, are still struggling to get the last few kinks out before the season officially gets underway. These factors give an “underdog” (the Miami Dolphins) an advantage they wouldn’t normally have against a superior team (the Seattle Seahawks).
Upsets are fairly common during the first week of the NFL season. For that matter, it’s not a shock to see a mediocre team like the Dolphins pull off an upset against a playoff-caliber opponent. Interestingly enough, if opening week plays out the same as it did a season ago, the Dolphins chances at upsetting the Seahawks aren’t too far-fetched. Last season, the Dolphins opened up their season by beating the eventual NFC East Champions, the Washington Redskins. Similarly, the then St. Louis Rams, who, like the Dolphins, also missed the playoffs, beat the Seahawks in a thrilling, overtime game.
Erase the fact that the Seahawks are a much better team than the Miami Dolphins. Erase the fact that every considerable matchup in Sunday’s game goes in the Seahawks’ favor. Erase the fact that (according to Bovada) the Seahawks’ chances of winning the Super Bowl are eight to one, compared to the Dolphins’ 75 to one.
The NFL is a whacky place. It seems as if every year there’s that one surprise team that makes a push, or breaks through and makes the playoffs. Though I don’t think it’s realistic for the Dolphins to make the playoffs this year, I do, however, think it’s possible for them to upset the Seahawks Sunday.