- Rich Incognito suspended The Dolphins have now suspended Incognito indefinitely
- Fins keep season alive Cam Wake's sack/safety in OT preserves the Fins victory and season
- Fins lose control in 2nd half Dolphins lose a 14 point lead and the game to the Patriots
- Fins trade for OT McKinnie Miami sends a late round conditional pick for OT Bryant McKinnie
No stopping us now?
A month from now, the Dolphins will open training camp and football season will officially be upon us!
The 2013 season is a rather unique one for this storied franchise. For a franchise that once owned the best winning percentage in the NFL (from 1966-2003), the last 10 years, wins have become hard to come by. The playoffs have been almost nonexistent (only 2008 stands out over those same 10 years.) This year, however, the Dolphins franchise, and their fans, believe that both wins AND playoffs are a real possibility. An active off-season in free agency netted the Fins:
- a play-making WR (Wallace)
- a WR believed to upgrade the #3 WR position (Gibson)
- the first REAL TE seam threat the franchise has had since Randy McMichael? (Keller)
- two new LB’s expected to be upgraded playmakers (Ellerbe & Wheeler)
- a TRUE #1 CB (Grimes)
- a fierce RT (Clabo)
Meanwhile, the 2013 Draft (which many believe is the best draft of Jeff Ireland’s tenure) has added a DYNAMIC athlete (Jordan), Two DB’s (Taylor/Davis) capable of making Miami formidable in pass coverage, depth along the Oline, and ahighly thought of RB.
With the Patriots losing offensive playmakers right and left, what can possibly stop the Dolphins from not only making the playoffs and even wrestling away the AFC East Division Title? The answer to that question sounds like the course schedule of a Science major.
The Dolphins have quite a few players coming off of serious injuries. Keller, Grimes, Jordan and Marshall and those are just the PROJECTED STARTERS! Don’t forget Taylor, Gray, and Thomas, all of whom are expected to either push for starting spots or play key roles are backups.
Also, what about the inevitable camp injuries that usually pop up in camp? Miami has little room for error because they spent most of their off-season acquiring starters but didn’t have enough picks to fill in much depth at key positions.
For example, Grimes/Marshall have both looked good coming back from major injuries suffered last season BUT what if Grimes plants wrong or Marshall comes/came back too quickly from back surgery? The Dolphins then have a 2nd round pick rehabbing from an injury, with little/no reps, which leaves you with Carroll/Sanford/Patterson and the other rookie Davis.
Worse yet, what if Keller gets injured for the second year in a row? Clay and Egnew showed they aren’t ready to be full-time starters. Sims was heralded by draft experts but, as Egnew showed, the NFL is a whole new level.
All this being said, if Miami can get lucky with the ‘injury bug’, there really is only one other thing that can stop Miami from making the playoffs.
As of the writing of this article, Miami is expected to have 5 new starters on offense for Game 1 of 2013 (I am including Martin’s move to LT in this number.) If you factor in the possible signing of Leach and Lance Louis possibly beating out the ‘incredible growing man’ (Jerry), Miami could field SEVEN new starters out of their starting 11!
On the defensive side of the ball, Miami is expected to have between 4-6 new starters. Depending who starts opposite of Grimes, Miami could start two new CB’s Week One. Also, can the new LB’s get on the same page as the rest of the defense?
The answer to these question needs to be ‘YES’ and they need to gel in a hurry! As most of you know, Miami faces NO, ATL and INDY in the first four weeks of the season. Those teams finished 1st (NO), 6th (ATL) and 7th (INDY) in passing yards per game last year. That not only means that the defensive secondary needs to gel quickly. It also means that Miami will probably need to score 24 pts/game; something they did only four times in 2012 (btw, they won all four of those games.)
In my opinion, the only thing that can stop Miami from making the postseason in 2013 is themselves. If Tannehill is able to get ‘in sync’ with his new WR’s/TE, the Oline can find cohesion, the LB/secondary can get on the same page, then Miami should have an improved pass rush, create more turnovers and can keep up, offensively with any team in the league.
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