The Dolphins are set to make a run for a playoff spot this season in the AFC East.
What helped the Dolphins this offseason?
One of the biggest things this offseason that helped the Dolphins was the selection of Tua in the NFL Draft. Tua is the Dolphins new starting QB and this will obviously play the biggest role in whether the Dolphins make the playoffs. Tua is one of the most injury prone NFL players and if healthy, Tua can easily be the best rookie QB this season. If Tua gets injured, it is hard to have the Dolphins making the playoffs. Many people think Tua may not even play this season and if he doesn't play, the Dolphins won't make the playoffs. Fitzpatrick is definitely one of the better backups out there, but it is still unreasonable to have the Dolphins making the playoffs with Fitzpatrick. Below is a stream with a bunch of reasons in why Tua will and should play this season!
Isaac Edelman covers the South Florida sports teams and the Mets as well as other breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
Another big thing that will help the Dolphins chase to make the playoffs will be the new NFL playoff format. Without a doubt, this new playoff format will help the Dolphins as there will be an extra spot in the AFC for the Dolphins to make the playoffs. This especially helps the Dolphins because they are in a division where they would likely be a wild card instead of winning the division.
The Dolphins defense will be one of the best we have seen in years. The Dolphins have added key defensive pieces such as: Van Noy, Ogbah, Roberts, Fejedelem, Lawson, and of course Byron Jones. Byron Jones is a top 10 CB and makes one of the best CB duos in the NFL, partnering up with Xavien Howard who was a Pro Bowler in 2018. The Dolphins defense may have the name as "Most Improved" this season. If the Dolphins want to make the playoffs, their defense will need to step up.
The Dolphins have been last in the NFL the past few years in rushing yards. You can tell this is the case when you have a guy like Fitzmagic leading the Dolphins in rushing yards.
The Dolphins may not be last in rushing yards anymore as they added 2 veteran RB's this offseason. The first RB they added this season was Jordan Howard, who they signed to a two-year, $9.75 million deal. When Howard was a rookie in 2016, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and even earned a Pro Bowl spot. The 2nd RB they signed this offseason was speedster Matt Breida.
Breida is arguably the fastest RB in the NFL. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Matt Breida was the fastest ball carrier last season. The 49ers traded Breida to the Dolphins during the NFL Draft for a fifth-round pick, which the 49ers used to select West Virginia offensive lineman Colton McKivitz. In my opinion this was an absolute steel for the Dolphins. It may turn out not to be a steel if McKivitz turns out to be a star. Something else to consider in terms of rushing is Tua. Tua is very injury prone, but that probably won't stop Tua from running with the ball. Tua will be one of the most mobile NFL QB's when healthy.
What will help and prevent the Dolphins from making the playoffs?
The AFC East can both help and prevent the Dolphins from making the playoffs. This year the division is wide open. This is the first time in what seems like millions of years that the Patriots won't be favored to win the division. Instead the Bills are. Even though the Patriots are projected to finish in 2nd, the Dolphins can easily squeeze in there. The Patriots are without Tom Brady, which is something the Pats organization and Bill Belichick may not be able to deel with it. They do have Cam Newton but who knows, Tua can play better than Newton if he stays healthy. Anyways, the Patriots don't have the same lethal defense as last year and they still don't have any trustable receivers besides Edelman.
Opt Outs- Opt outs can help and prevent ANY team from making the playoffs. It has already helped the Dolphins because the Patriots have had so many opt outs. Since the Pats are in the same division as the Dolphins and have so many opt outs, the Dolphins may have more of a chance to make the playoffs. Some of the Patriots big names to opt out are Dont'a Hightower who is a former Pro Bowler, Patrick Chung, Marcus Cannon, and Marquise Lee and Matt LaCosse, two players who are very important because the Patriots are already very limited in their receiving core. The Miami Dolphins were not hit as hard as other teams in the NFL with only two players opting out of the season with one of the names being Albert Wilson, who would have been the Dolphins #2 receiver on the depth chart.
Brian Flores- Brian Flores is one of the most underrated NFL Coaches and can definitely help the Dolphins. Don't look at what happened last year because the 5-9 record wasn't Flores' fault. The Dolphins simply didn't have the pieces. This year they do!
Tua Tagovailoa- If Tua stays healthy, the Dolphins will be in playoff contention. If he doesn't, well we can most likely rule out the Dolphins unless he gets injured with about 3 games left. Tua brings a different level to the game as he is a lefty. Tua is a very mobile QB when healthy and loves to throw the deep ball. This will be perfect as the Dolphins have one of the best receivers to catch the deep ball in DeVante Parker.