O.k. seriously, are the Miami Dolphins really Super Bowl contenders in 2023?

Miami Dolphins fans are excited for the start of the 2023 season and naturally, the expectations are high but are they unrealistic? Is this Miami Dolphins team really Super Bowl ready?

The Chiefs' Vince Lombardi Trophy for winning Super Bowl LVII at the Springfield Expo Center on
The Chiefs' Vince Lombardi Trophy for winning Super Bowl LVII at the Springfield Expo Center on / Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader /

The Lombardi Trophy has eluded the Miami Dolphins for more than three decades. The last time Miami won the Super Bowl, Larry Csonka and Bob Griese were in the prime. The last time they went to a Super Bowl, Dan Marino was still figuring out how rewrite the history books.

Miami was in the Super Bowl in 1973, 1983, and well, it's 2023 now. Could a return trip finally be in the cards? There are some in the media that believe the Dolphins are Super Bowl bound. Others, like Peter King, believe the Dolphins will miss the playoffs.

Dolphins fans know what it is like to enter a season with through-the-roof expectations and then by week four start feeling the pull on their chest as the Dolphins slowly rip out the heart. This year? The expectations are so much higher which could make for a much bigger break.

Earlier we looked at the Dolphins 2023 schedule. We predicted every game and despite attempts to find games that the Dolphins can't win, I was still able to get to 12 wins. I truly tried to put on the face of "Miami really can't run with this team" but I couldn't.

12 wins isn't out of the question and if the Dolphins get off to an early start, they will only be better when the tougher late season games come up. This team is built to win but is it built to win now?

The offensive line remains the Miami Dolphins biggest question mark. Already we know that Terron Armstead's availability this week could be in question. We also learned that Liam Eichenberg is starting over Isaiah Wynn, for now. The Dolphins are relying on coaching to beef up Austin Jackson and they are still using a capable but converted guard to play center.

In the defensive secondary, injuries have forced Eli Apple into a starting role. Cam Smith has shown flashes but inconsistency is keeping him from starring in this defense.

Miami will get Jalen Ramsey later this season and that will be a huge boost to a defense that might be ready to take over games if they haven't already.

So to the question at hand, are the Dolphins good enough to get to the Super Bowl?

Despite my predictions of a 12-win season, I still have that mindset that this is the Dolphins and nothing good ever happens for them, realistically. They find ways to shoot themelves in the foot when everything is going well. There is a tendency to fall into complacency.

This team is capable of changing that but Mike McDaniel has to be creative all season. He needs to throw new wrinkles at teams and not simply rely on quick throws and quicker routes to avoid the problems on the offensive line.

Like every other fan, I believe that this team has the talent to win it all or at the very least dance in the final show but I also know that as a fan, year's of heartbreak, years of watching the build up to witness only a fall has been the only thing consistent about this team.

That keeps me grounded. That keeps me remembering the thrills of Adam Gase's hire or Brian Flores' hire or Bill Parcells taking over the operations. Failed. Failed. Failed. Yes, everyone is quick to say Mike McDaniel is different. Are we sure about that? 100% without question?

Those are questions that will be answered this year. Yes, the Dolphins have the talent at QB, RB, defensive line, linebacker, WR, safety, cornerback, and two coaches who can develop systems and game plans to win against every other team in the NFL.

Super Bowl ready? Maybe, but they are definitely ready to challenge every team to get there.