Top 5 reasons the Miami Dolphins will win the Super Bowl in 2023

Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears
Miami Dolphins v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

After a long stretch of mediocrity, laced with bad quarterbacks and questionable coaches, the Miami Dolphins are in the midst of breaking the cycle and finding postseason success. Miami has built a roster that is worthy of Super Bowl aspirations under a young, brilliant mind in head coach Mike McDaniel. If there is such thing as a Super Bowl window, the Dolphins are peering through it right now.

In 2022, the Dolphins looked poised to dominate the AFC and make a deep playoff run amid a scorching leap by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was throwing to possibly the best young receiving duo in the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The defense was doing its thing before being bolstered by the Bradley Chubb trade and the Dolphins were hitting their stride. Then... the injuries began piling up. Tagovailoa suffered multiple major head injuries and his backup, Teddy Bridgewater, met the same fate. The Dolphins were left with their only option, a rookie 7th-rounder, and still made the playoffs -- coming close to defeating a fully-healthy Buffalo Bills in the Wildcard round.

But now it's a new year. By all accounts, Tua is 100% healthy. The team made some big moves through trade and free agency. The Dolphins have some unfinished business to attend to and they just may go all the way. Here are five reasons the Miami Dolphins will hoist the Lombardi trophy in February:

1. The Dolphins have built a Super-Defense

Jalen Ramsey
2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games / Michael Owens/GettyImages

In 2022, the Dolphins gave up a first-round pick for OLB Bradley Chubb to strengthen their pass rush. Notably one of the better pass rushers in the league, and at only 26 years old, Chubb brought a new dimension to the Miami defense. The former fifth overall selection by Denver earned Pro Bowl honors as he came off a series of injuries and finally started to play up to his potential again for the Dolphins. Chubb is expected to make yet another leap forward in 2023 as an elite pass rusher in Miami, which will certainly please the new man running the show on the defensive side of the ball.

Bradley Chubb
Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

With their next move on defense, Miami hired legendary defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who actually coached Bradley Chubb during his best years in Denver. Fangio is known for integrating his aggressive and complex defense wherever he goes, typically finding wild success. The hiring of Fangio will also bring about a new culture to the defense, which struggled to create turnovers in 2022. Speaking of turnovers, Miami signing safety DeShon Elliott gives the Dolphins a fantastic complement to Jevon Holland in the secondary

Then, in May, the Dolphins went out and casually made a blockbuster trade for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey, widely considered one of the greatest cornerbacks in the league over the past several seasons, will bring his lockdown talents and cocky swagger to a defense that will greatly benefit from both. Miami did give up a lot of draft capitol for Ramsey, solidifying their 'all-in' status for 2023.

In the draft just a few weeks ago, Miami once again bolstered their cornerback room by selecting South Carolina's Cam Smith with their first selection. Smith, who some scouts gave first-round grades to, figures to start in the slot while Ramsey and Xavien Howard hold it down on the outside.

2. Tua Tagovailoa is back

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins Offseason Workout / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Sporting a Russell Wilson-esque extra-protective helmet, Tua Tagovailoa is a full participant in OTA's, looking to pick up from where he left off last season. Before suffering a series of serious head injuries, Tagovailoa had taken a monstrous leap in his development in 2022. Putting up elite numbers and topping the league in almost all major statistical categories, Tua was in the midst of leading the Dolphins to their best start in decades. He seemed in sync with his top two targets, Hill and Waddle, and the Miami offense seemed unstoppable.

With some rest, therapy and film study in the books, Tua is poised to break out -- once more -- this upcoming season. Miami has a solid young weapon room, including esteemed rookie running back Devon Achane, and Tagovailoa has a few years of experience under his belt now. If there was ever a time and situation for a young quarterback to begin his prime, it's now.

It only makes sense for Tua to continue throwing for elite numbers with improved accuracy and seasoned decision-making. If the defense lives up to its potential and starts to create some turnovers, watch out for Tua and the Dolphins offense. We saw the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this offense is capable of last season. 2023 will be even better.

3. The Dolphins' schedule will prepare them for the playoffs

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages

With the 2023 schedule released, we see a clear picture of how the Dolphins season will pan out. Miami plays most of the top dogs in the league, including the Buffalo Bills twice, the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (in a neutral environment), Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, Aaron Rodgers and the Jets -- twice -- and the NFC favorite Philadelphia Eagles.

It does not get more Super Bowl-ish for the Dolphins than playing the Kansas City Chiefs in a neutral stadium in front of a massive audience. Although Miami obviously can't play the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, the big-game feel will be there. This is invaluable experience for a Dolphins team that will have to go through Kansas City if they do want to win a ring.

In what could actually be a plausible Super Bowl matchup, the Dolphins travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Sunday night of week seven. The Eagles are the class of the NFC and will be a monumental test for this Dolphins squad. Jalen Hurts leads a powerful offense, behind an elite line, equipped with weapons like AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and newly acquired running back D'Andre Swift. Their defense may just be better, headlined by Georgia Bulldogs Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, and Kelee Ringo. Philadelphia also has a top cornerback duo in Darius Slay and James Bradberry.

4. The Dolphins have a chip on their shoulder

Mike McDaniel
Miami Dolphins v New York Jets / Elsa/GettyImages

Whether it's Tua being told he should retire, Tyreek being kicked off the Oklahoma State team and being picked late in the draft, or Mike McDaniel being the butt of jokes surrounding his quirky personality, the Dolphins have something to prove in 2023.

In an AFC with pundits already penciling in the Chiefs and Bills as the heavyweight favorites, with even the Jets receiving an excess amount of hype, the Dolphins are being written off before the preseason. As a fan, that may aggravate you, but the Miami Dolphins are likely happy as a clam to add another chip to their shoulder.

Sure, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen get more engagement on social media and bring in greater ratings on television, but leaving out the Miami Dolphins may be a huge mistake by the NFL media. In a league where respect is king, the Dolphins are feeling very disrespected. And what is a greater fuel to a fire than feeling disrespected? These Dolphins have something to prove and they have more than enough talent to prove their point this season.

Does Jalen Ramsey really want to be outshined by someone like Ahmad Gardner? Does Tyreek Hill want to be beaten by the team that traded him away? Bradley Chubb has a shot at revenge against Denver this season too. And does Mike McDaniel really want to be seen as just another 'McVay guy' who never pans out?

5. The Dolphins have a perfect blend of youth and veterans

Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

If you're going for a Super Bowl, you want experience on your team. You want guys who have been there before and know what it takes to be a champion. But you also want the guys who have never been there before. The guys who are hungry for a taste of a championship who will do whatever it takes to make it to the top of the mountain. The Dolphins may have found the perfect recipe.

Head coach Mike McDaniel has coached a Super Bowl before. In Super Bowl LIV in 2019, McDaniel served as the offensive run game coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers -- a team that made it to the Super Bowl reliant on their run game. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill was also in that same Super Bowl and won the game with the Kansas City Chiefs. Tua Tagovailoa, while never reaching a Super Bowl, does have some championship experience. In a NCAA national championship game, Tua threw the walk-off game-winning touchdown to solidify his championship DNA. Jalen Ramsey won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 2021. The championship experience is absolutely there.

Tyreek Hill
Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

But on the other side, you have young talent like Bradley Chubb, DeShon Elliott, Xavien Howard, Jevon Holland and Christian Wilkins -- all great players who have never sniffed championship hardware. They are the core who have that burning desire to reach the pinnacle and experience a Super Bowl. They are the driving force in a team to get to the finish line.

It's a perfect blend of experience and drive. The Miami Dolphins have every element a team needs to win a Super Bowl.