AFC East First place: Miami Dolphins (12-5)
There hasn’t been a team that improved more than the Miami Dolphins this off-season. From Raheem Mostert to Terron Armstead, to Tyreek Hill, and now most recently Melvin Ingram, this roster is loaded. With all my years of being on this planet, (not many), this is the best roster I’ve ever seen the Dolphins have on paper. There really isn’t a major flaw. Potentially center? But Michael Deiter or Conor Williams might be able to excel in that role, and J.C. Tretter is still out there, maybe Chris Grier brings him in. Nonetheless, the Dolphins have a really good team, and I think this is finally the time they show it.
It’s very hard for me to have these expectations for the Fins because I’ve been hurt, like every Dolphins fan, so many times over the years. But I don’t know, I can’t explain it, this just feels different. The energy from Mike McDaniel, the buzz around the city, it just feels different this year. And maybe that’s my optimistic side kicking in again, but there aren’t a ton of ways this team isn’t successful this year.
One of those reasons could be Mike McDaniel. He seems like a very smart coach and someone who’s going to make the Dolphins’ offense into a good unit for the first time in 20 years, and I believe he will. But to play the other side for the sake of argument, he hasn’t coached a game in his life. As much as I think he’s gonna be the next young offensive genius, I can’t hide from the fact I believed Adam Gase to be the next young offensive genius at a point as well. Now, before you attack me in the comments, I do believe McDaniel is going to be a really good coach, I’m just pointing out any potential reason the Dolphins don’t reach their goals this season, and McDaniel’s inexperience could be one.
And finally, really the biggest question mark for the Miami Dolphins this season, is Tua Tagovailoa. Is Tua going to take the next step? That’s been the hottest topic on every sports show this summer. He now has the offensive line with the additions of Terron Armstead and Conor Williams, the running backs with Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds, and Sony Michel, one of the best wide receiver duos with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and an offensive coach who believes in him.
Tagovailoa has everything he needs to be successful, and he must show up in 2022. I’m a believer in Tua, and I believe he’s going to answer the call and breakout this year, but he is the #1 deciding factor between the Dolphins winning the division, and the Dolphins missing the playoffs this upcoming season.
All that’s left for me to do is watch this upcoming season unfold, and see how my predictions play out. The Dolphins are either gonna make me appear on Freezing Cold Takes, or prove me to be a genius, and I’m desperately hoping for the ladder. Let me know what you think about my bold standings, and your own AFC East predictions for 2022, @MathisReports.