Miami Dolphins: 5 Bold Predictions for 2018
Ryan Tannehill is back and so are the hopes of most Miami Dolphins fans. While some hoped the Dolphins picked up a replacement in this year’s NFL Draft, Adam Gase again hitched his success on the 7-year vet. Now everyone from Sports Illustrated to ESPN has the team in the bottom third of the league in their Power Rankings. Miami could surprise their critics if these bold predictions hold true.
1 The Miami Dolphins will finish top 10 in offense
Many analysts have the team worse of than they were at this point last year. A roster purge of their star players backed up their claim. However, this year less might be more. With Jarvis Landry, Jay Ajayi and Mike Pouncey being the most notable departures from camp last season, their draft picks might be the key to their success. With tight ends being the focus Ryan Tannehill might have a big bodied target in the red zone. No one can replace Landry’s production, however, opponents often doubled up and took him out of plays. Head coach Adam Gase needs to find the best ways to get rookie Mike Gesicki the ball and take pressure off other receivers inside the 20.[RickChitAd]
2 Kenyan Drake will finish in the top 10 Running Backs
Miami got off to a slow start with running back Jay Ajayi last season. After the reported tension between he and Adam Gase, Ajayi would go on to be a Super Bowl champ. His predecessor? Kenyan Drake didn’t go on to win a Super Bowl, but he would league the lead in yards after becoming a starter. Running backs might see a surge this year making it harder to be in that top-tier, but the Dolphins feel they have a stronger and more consistent offensive line to lead the way.
3 Ryan Tannehill will finish in the top 5 for quarterbacks
Laugh if you will. Naysayers might point out that Tannehill hasn’t done enough to lead the Miami Dolphins to a respectable team. Outside of the win-loss column #17 has teetered right around the number 10 quarterback in the league statistically. After coaches pushed last year as his breakout year, this year he’s got more backing up those claims. While they may be injury concerns and his favorite target is gone, the Dolphins offense might be stronger. Bringing in Albert Wilson to replace Landry was a start. Wilson might not have the hands that Landry does but with more speed should be able to increase the YAC in the slot. Danny Amendola also brings speed and leadership to an already strong receiving group. With true tight ends, their offense should be able to spread the field.
4 The defense will be top 5 in takeaways
While the offense wasn’t as strong as Adam Gase demands, but the defense did make a few improvements. Unfortunately for the unit, injuries depleted their strengths early on. After Raekwon McMillian and Tony Lippett were lost early in the offseason and linebacker Lawrence Timmons went AWOL, the team never seemed to have the heart needed. This year’s draft proved they’re not ready to let that happen again. With first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, and third-round pick Jerome Baker they’d add not only depth but playmakers as well. If coaches develop their younger players this year, Miami would have a secondary that consists of Reshad Jones, Bobby McCain, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersly, and TJ McDonald. Most quarterbacks will shrug those names off, but together the unit has the opportunity to be something special.[RickChitAd]
5 Frank Gore will be the difference maker
At 35 he may not be a spring chicken but Frank Gore is one of the most consistent running backs in the league. Now with the Miami Dolphins, he won’t have to carry the workload he did in the past. With Drake expected to get more of the carries and rookie Kalen Ballage for added depth Gore won’t take as many hits. In the red zone, he could turn into the big powerful back needed to push across the goal line or even get involved in the passing game. Gore should see 7+ touchdowns this season in a shared or limited role.
Fans see it year after year with the Miami Dolphins. Each offseason there’s hype and hope, and by mid-season, they’re just hoping to beat the Patriots once. With pessimism in the media so far, it might be hard to see a bright spot. There’s a lot that would have to go their way to prove their doubters wrong. Good news for Dolphins fans though. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl after being underdogs all season.
How do you feel about the Miami Dolphins in 2018? Leave a comment below.
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