The Miami Dolphins, by fan accounts, are going to challenge for the AFC East at best and win a Wild Card spot at worst. Predictions on the season range from 10 wins to 12 wins and the consensus feeling is that Miami is ready to take a big step forward.
The question is why do we feel that this season will be better than last year and not worse?
Most look at last years 10 win season and the narrow miss of the postseason. Naturally, you add more talent to the team and your rookie quarterback has a good off-season and you immediately think that this team is ready to improve and two games is a good prediction. The Dolphins, however, have their problems as well and those issues could derail the season.
While we want to believe that the Dolphins are going to shock the naysayers this year, there is always the possibility that nothing goes the way we had hoped.
We discussed this during the week off after the final preseason game but there are more reasons than just Tua Tagovailoa, the offensive line, and play calling.
The Dolphins schedule could be another problem. The Dolphins need to get off to a fast start but that won’t be as easy as it seems. Forget about the opening on Sunday in New England. The Dolphins should be able to win this game, they need to win this game. If for no other reason to put any talk of Tua Tagovailoa away for a while. The Mac Jones – Tua Tagovailoa competition is about to begin and if Miami loses, the Tua haters will be out in full force.
Looking at the first five games, the Dolphins are not in a favorable position. Traveling to NE to start the season is bad enough but they face the Bills in week two. The Bills are the odd on favorite to win the division. It will be a tough game.
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Week three sees Miami traveling to Las Vegas. Miami played a tough game against the Raiders last year and this year should be no different. It could go either way but the travel across the country tends to favor the home team. Miami will be home against an improved Colts team in week four and the finally will visit the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miami has to be good in these first five games and winning three of them will set a tone for the rest of the season. The problem is the Dolphins could just easily drop four of them instead and in doing so would put their 2021 season success in a hole that will be hard to climb out of.
The Dolphins have the talent to win this year and the weapons to put points on the board but until they step on the field for 60 minutes and show what they can do, enthusiasm should be high but also highly tempered.