Last season, the Miami Dolphins opened with big expectations after signing DT Ndamukong Suh to a monster 6-year, $114 million deal. Unfortunately, Suh didn’t live up to the hype in his first season, and neither did the Dolphins as they struggled to an 8-8 finish.
This year represents a chance for Miami to get back on track as they enter the 2016-17 NFL season with less pressure. In fact, our line only has the Dolphins at +750 odds of winning the AFC East, leaving them well behind New England (-200), Buffalo (+450), and New York (+550).
The only problem with the Dolphins’ journey to redemption is that their offense has looked terrible so far. Yahoo Sports gave a report on the team’s inter-squad scrimmage this weekend, and the review wasn’t favorable.
Here’s one take on Miami’s first-team offense, which features QB Ryan Tannehill, WR DeVante Parker, WR Kenny Stills, TE Jordan Cameron, C Mike Pouncey, RB Jay Ajayi, and RB Arian Foster:
The defense was autocratic as presumed and the first unit, second unit, and third unit put the offense in its place the entire night, closing out the team’s offense on eight drives. Am I surprised the offensive was horrible? No. However, I am happy that head coach Adam Gase apprehends that was a repugnant performance by the Miami Dolphins offense.
Not to bring up the past, but if this was former head coach Joe Philbin he would’ve clapped his hands together and not addressed any of the flaws. New head coach Adam Gase is already taking the bull by the horns and putting his offensive unit on blast and is making sure that they know their performance was unacceptable and will not be allowed to happen again.
Gase, entering his first year as Dolphins’ head coach, didn’t have an answer for why his team’s offense played so poorly. “Offensively, there was just no juice whatsoever,” he said. “It was almost like a walk-through.”
One explanation could be that the defense is finally gaining the form that everybody expected last season. Yahoo reports that the D “was extremely exceptional” and showed “more significance and enthusiasm” than that of their offensive counterparts.
There’s plenty of star power on defense, with Suh plugging the middle, and defensive ends Cameron Wake and Mario Williams terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.
After three straight double-digit sack seasons in Buffalo, Williams had a down year in 2015 with only 5 sacks. He’ll look to get back on track with his new team.
Wake was on pace for one of the best seasons of his career after tallying 7 sacks in as many games. But a torn Achilles’ heel ended his year prematurely.
As for the offense, Tannehill enters his fifth season as the leader of this unit. He posted solid numbers in 2015, throwing for 4,208 yards, 24 TDs, 12 INTs, and an 88.7 passer rating.
Ajayi will shoulder much more responsibility at running back after rushing for just 187 yards last season. Foster, another big free-agent pickup, hopes to avoid an injury plagued season after lasting just 63 carries last year.
Parker, Miami’s first-round choice last season, will hope to progress since he caught just 26 passes for 494 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Dolphins open the preseason on Friday against the New York Giants. Gase will try to get his first-team unit looking better than they did in the inter-squad scrimmage.
The preseason isn’t always an indication of what a team can expect once the regular season begins. But in Miami’s case, it sounds like their offense needs all the work it can get before they travel to Seattle on September 11 for their first regular-season contest.