The Dolphins finished last season with an 8-8 record, the second straight year they ended up with a .500 record. They haven’t had a winning record since 2008 so they made some acquisitions in the offseason to try to improve the team. The most notable of the acquisitions is DT Ndamukong Suh, who signed a long-term contract in free agency.
QB Ryan Tannehill has improved in each of his three seasons in the league, eclipsing the 4,000 passing yard mark for the first time last season — with 4,045 — and threw a career-best 27 touchdown passes. RB Lamar Miller led the running attack with 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns. WR Jarvis Landry had the most receptions on the team, with 84 to go along with 758 receiving yards and five touchdowns. The defense was pretty much middle-of-the-pack, ranking 20th in the league.
Tannehill is going to get some more help on the offense this season. The team traded for WR Kenny Stills from the Saints, who had 931 receiving yards on 63 receptions in just seven starts last season. With a full workload as Miami’s No. 2 receiver this season behind Landry, those numbers could go up rather significantly this year. The team also signed veteran WR Greg Jennings, who should prove to be a viable third option for Tannehill to throw to. On the defense, the signing of Suh should cause problems for opposing offenses. With the Lions last season, he had 8.5 sacks, which would have been the second-highest total on the Dolphins.
The Dolphins schedule opens with a couple of winnable road games, at the Redskins and Jaguars in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. Things get tougher later in the season with three straight road games in Weeks 8-10 against the Patriots, Bills and Eagles, followed by a home game with the Cowboys. If the Dolphins are in a hunt for a playoff spot late in the season, they’re not going to get any help with their Week 16 and 17 matchups, home games with the Colts and Patriots. With QB Tom Brady potentially missing the first four games of the season for New England, the Dolphins have their best chance in a while to win the division. I think they’re the second best team in the division and could end up winning nine or 10 games this season. I don’t think that’ll be enough to make the playoffs, though.