Following an inconsistent offseason that included the signings of running back Arian Foster and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, the Miami Dolphins aim their sights on a playoff spot this year, following a disappointing 6-10 campaign in 2015. The Dolphins opened their season on the road in Seattle, squaring off the highly touted defense of the Seahawks. First year head coach Adam Gase looked to get off to a strong start relying on strong defensive line and wide receiving units. The Dolphins allowed only twelve points against the Seahawks, but lost due to a last-minute drive that ended with Russell Wilson throwing a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin.
Jarvis Landry seeks to lead the receiving group, building on his statistics from last year in which he caught 110 receptions for 1,157 yards and 4 touchdowns. Adam Gase will attempt to use Landry in a more positional role this year, hoping to be able to line him up wide against mismatched cornerbacks. Miami also intends to conduct a high-octane offense that proved successful in a 27-10 preseason win over the Giants, with seventeen of their points scored in the second quarter.
Ensuing a last place finish in the AFC East, Miami hopes to gain ground within the division following the announcement of Tom Brady’s four game suspension, leaving rival New England grasping for offensive answers following his omission. However, in the match against New England, the Dolphins’ defense struggled, and the team lost 31-24.
There are still questions surrounding quarterback project Ryan Tannehill. The Sports Daily states “With an array of young weapons, a nice rotation at running back, and what should be a strong offensive front, Miami could light up the scoreboards this season. Tannehill has statistically gotten better every year and has two 4,000 yard seasons behind a patchwork line.” Tannehill, drafted from Texas A&M University as a wide receiver-turned quarterback, has been a consistent option for the Dolphins to rely on, with hopes that he will become the franchise quarterback for the future.
Philosophy teacher Josh Childs, a fan of the Dolphins, thinks that the defense looked strong in the opening week loss to the Seahawks. “They held the rushing game to a minimum, which immensely helped them in the first three quarters of the game. I really think that despite being in a tough AFC East division, they can ride their defense to a very successful season,” said Childs.
Math teacher Russell Williams is not as optimistic for the coming year, expecting a mediocre team that finishes with seven wins and nine losses. “The offensive line is a glaring hole on the team, they really need to block efficiently if running back Arian Foster has any hope of doing well.” Despite several weaknesses on the team, fan enthusiasm remains high.
Be sure to tune into Miami’s week three matchup against the Cleveland Browns on September 25 at 1:00 PM on CBS.