3rd Annual 32 in 32ish NFL Previews: Miami Dolphins

Our previews of all 32 NFL teams continue as we move on to the next team in the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins, who finished in last place in the division last season.

After two straight 8-8 finishes, the Dolphins took a step back in 2015, going 6-10. The team lost starting RB Lamar Miller to free agency but signed oft-injured RB Arian Foster, who has the potential to put up big numbers when he’s able to take the field. He’ll be splitting rushing duties with RB Jay Ajayi, who has the edge to take over as the starter with Miller now on the Texans.

QB Ryan Tannehill put up some of the best stats of his career last season, throwing for 4,208 yards and 24 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions. HIs favorite target was WR Jarvis Landry, who had 110 receptions for 1,157 yards but just 4 touchdowns in 14 starts. WR Rishard Matthews added 43 receptions, 662 yards and 4 touchdowns to Tannehill’s totals. TE Jordan Cameron caught 35 balls for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns. In limited playing time in his rookie season — nine games, no starts — Ajayi carried the ball 49 times for 187 yards and 1 touchdown. With the Texans last season, Foster played in just four games, gaining 163 yards with 1 touchdown on 63 rushes. The defense ranked in the bottom half of the league with 389 points allowed and 13 interceptions.

The Dolphins pretty much know what they’re getting out of their passing game this year, with Tannehill throwing to the likes of Landry, Cameron and WR Kenny Stills, but it’s the running game where the team has question mark.s Ajayi has never started a game and it’s unknown how he’ll handle a full-season workload. Then there’s Foster, who can be among the league’s best running backs when he plays, but the question is how much he’ll play; he hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2012 and has played in eight or fewer games two of the last three seasons.

The Dolphins’ schedule begins with two road games against playoff teams from last season: at the Seahawks in Week 1 and at the Patriots, who will be without QB Tom Brady, in Week 2. The Dolphins get their first home game at their newly renovated stadium in Week 3 against the Browns before hitting the road again in Week 4 to face another AFC North team, the Bengals. The Steelers come to Miami to face the Dolphins in Week 6. Things get a little easier for the Dolphins after their Week 8 bye until they host the Cardinals in Week 14. The team finishes the season with three straight divisional games, at the Jets in Week 15, at the Bills in Week 16 and hosting Brady and the Patriots in Week 17. If the running game comes together like the Dolphins hope it will, I think they can end the season with their first winning record since 2008.

Source: http://www.miamidolphins.com, http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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