According to many media talking heads, including Mel Kiper, the Miami Dolphins may come up behind the New York Jets of all teams.
The Jets made a lot of quality moves and head coach Robert Saleh will have another year under his belt. He is well respected by his players and should develop into a good head coach but there are questions about the team’s ability to play unifying football and of course many questions about quarterback Zach Wilson.
Anyone putting Wilson above Tua at this stage of their career shouldn’t write about football. Wilson has a big arm but his accuracy struggles at times. In his rookie season, Wilson threw 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Tua has thrown 15 interceptions in 2 seasons and 27 touchdowns in those 10 extra games.
If we are putting position to position, Miami has the edge at quarterback.
You could make an argument for two areas on the Jets offense that is better than the Dolphins. The running back situation and the offensive line. Miami’s offensive line isn’t good and while it should improve considerably this year, the Jets are strong on the interior.
At running back, Miami improved in free agency and this is kind of a push for both teams given Miami has much better depth but also has more concerns with injury history for some of their backs. The telling story will be the run game under McDaniel.
If the Jets get the edge along the Oline and it is a push at running back, the Dolphins run away with the WR and TE groups.
Miami’s WRs are near elite. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle could be the best tandem in the NFL and Cedrick Wilson is going to look very good with coverage rolling away from him. He is a sleeper talent on this years roster.
Aside from Elijiah Moore, the Jets are good but they are not great at the position. At tight end, the Jets got better with the additions of C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin but the Dolphins are still in great shape with Mike Gesicki, Adam Shaheen, and Durham Smythe. If Hunter Long contributes this year, it could be the best TE group Miami has had in decades.
Offensively, the Dolphins get the overall edge. New York has the better offensive line but Miami takes the rest of the offensive positions.
Defensively, the Jets are hoping that rookie Sauce Gardner will play a big role on that side of the ball but he isn’t comparable to Xavien Howard or Byron Jones at this point. Miami’s cornerbacks are elite and the Jets are going to be tested in order to prove themselves.
At safety, Miami is hoping that Jevon Holland will breakout this year and there is no reason to believe he won’t. Miami has a much better secondary than the Jets but the Jets look better up front at several key positions including LB and DLine.
On the inside, the Jets may be marginally better but Miami has developed a strong edge rush and that puts them ahead of New York. Overall, the Jets defensive line and linebackers are not good enough to make the Jets defense better than Miami’s secondary and front seven.
So what do the talking heads see when they look at Miami? They are stuck on Tua Tagovailoa and a rookie head coach. They are stuck on a team that has overachieved when they should have failed but that overachieving has built the units on both sides of the ball and most can’t see that through their own glaring distractions.