Last Year: 8-8, 2nd in AFC East
Acquisitions: Louis Delmas, Branden Albert, Cortland Finnegan, Knowshon Moreno, Brady Quinn (lol), Ja’Wuan James, Jarvis Landry
Departures: Jonathan Martin, Jeff Ireland, Paul Soliai, Richie Incognito, Jeff Ireland, Nolan Carroll, Jeff Ireland, Pat Devlin
Vegas win total over/under: 7.5
Verdict: Over. Barely.
First off, consider this:
8-8 / 7-9 / 6-10 / 7-9 / 7-9 / 11-5* (wildcard year) / 1-15 / 6-10 / 9-7 / 4-12
= 66-94, 0-1 in the playoffs.
The list above represents the last decade of Miami Dolphin futility, zero playoff wins, a feat only matched by the Lions, Browns, Raiders, Bills, and Chiefs. But really it’s the past five years that have stung the most, because they’ve had a chance to make the playoffs in four of them … and gone a helpful 2-8 in the final two games of the season. The Fins are the high school kid who is walking a tightrope just to get into college and then gets involved some sort of sexual assault case on the day their personal essay is due. The marine mammals are infinitely disappointing in that you attempt not to get your hopes up, then you get your hopes up, thinking, “Well, certainly we can beat either the Jets OR the Bills to clinch a spot, right?” No. No, they can’t. Then there was the “bullying” incident. ESPN hadn’t gotten that much mileage out of text messaging since Tiger Woods. I had to turn off the tele every time the story was reported, meaning there was only about eight minutes I had the damn thing on all year. Martin! Incognito! Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill was getting sacked more than ancient Rome. Because of said sacking, it was impossible to tell if he’s actually good or not. Here’s how I break it down in my head:
Signs Ryan Tannehill Might Be Good:
1) Stands tall in the pocket, even under (constant) duress.
2) Strong, fast, and physical, as befitting a former wideout.
3) Good arm strength when he has time (never).
4) One of the few quarterbacks who has a better QBR outside the pocket, while scrambling.
and finally …
5) Has a hot wife.
But then we’ve got:
Signs Ryan Tannehill Might Not Be Good:
1) Does he hold the ball too long?
2) Why can’t Mike Wallace catch?
3) 286 yards total, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions in final two games. As John Gruden would say, “I tell you what, this kid can just play out there. He’s having fun.”
Digression complete, he’s a frustrating guy to watch, on a frustrating team, because he looks the part, tall, handsome, and always grinning like he’s John Elway. Personally, I’d like to see a little more petulance outta my gunslingers, because it takes a psychopath to succeed in today’s NFL. But hell, he’s better than Geno Smith. That dude turned the ball over like 30 times. He’s a nightmare. Please, please, please Jets fans entertain the notion that he’s turned it around. The preseason is always indicative of future successs!
Okay, it’s finally time, let’s break down the Dolphins outlook for the year of our Shula 2014:
Reason For Hope: We got Bill Lazor, the guy who turned Kevin Kolb into a real quarterback! He’ll probably notice that Tannehill should be rolling out of the pocket more!
Reason For Worry: Our head coach is still presenting himself as the accounting lead at H & R Block. “Hey, guys, let’s .. uh, let’s go out there and really work today. Okay. Thanks.”
Reason For Hope: We fired Jeff Ireland, the only GM with a history of trading up to the #3 spot for a guy who got subsequently suspended for PEDs AND called someone’s mom a prosty! Addition by subtraction!
Reason For Worry: The guy we hired wasn’t quite good enough to be the Tampa Bay Bucs GM. Ummmm.
Reason For Hope: This Landry fellow from LSU seems like a fearless slot receiver warrior.
Reason For Worry: My guess is speedy Mike Wallace still can’t “catch”.
Reason For Hope: Our line is revamped and ready to rock.
Reason For Worry: And also already has injuries.
Reason For Hope: We get to play the Bills and Jets for four of our games, and Tom Brady has to blow his knee out again at some point.
Reason For Worry: We also play at Denver, and vs Kansas City and Green Bay.
Reason For Hope: Finally, a little burst at RB with Moreno, a man who can also pass block.
Reason For Worry: He’s banged up.
Reason For Hope: Gotta like gritty Cortland Finnegan and the re-signing of Brent Grimes.
Reason For Worry: Our LBs are still paper thin / unusable.
Reason For Hope: Our cheerleaders can make even a horrid song like “Call Me Maybe” palatable.
Reason For Worry: We got Brady Quinn.
Reason For Hope: Chad Henne is still upstate by about five hours.
Overall, yep, this is an 8-8 team waiting to happen. Could, with some luck, they go 10-6? Sure. Could, they with some inuries, go 5-11? Absoulutely. They are the living, breathing, swimming version of NFL parity, only with the wrong side of the coin coming up five times outta six.
Strap in Fins Fans, it’s gonna be another Splash Mountain wild ride with a potential brick wall at the end of it.
Laremy has been a Dolphins fan his whole life, starting with Montana beating Marino and cascading into oblivion from there.
Twas the year of our lord, two thousand and seven
When a hunk named Brady fell in the draft, like an angel from heaven
He was a celebrated quarterback whilst in college
His looks more than made up for a lack of basic knowledge
But when it came time to be drafted
This sculpted specimen cried that he was shafted
As the Miami Dolphin declared that they were ready to win
So they drafted an entire family to get Ted Ginn
(Instead of players like Willis or Lynch who might care,
But that’s neither here nor there)
The critics of the Dolphins doth protested
That by the Browns Miami had been bested
Because in order to succeed
The mighty Quinn should have filled their need
Alas, for the Browns he was a hot diaper filled with dirt
While Ginn should have just played in a skirt
Perhaps in the end
As is sometimes the trend
The Dolphins signing Brady for third string
Will end up being just the thing
And these two long lost lovers will be a fit so fine
While the team once again finishes seven and nine