The Dolphins make me cry, Miami Dolphins 2023 season preview and prediction

It is that time of the year.

I look in the mirror and predict how the Miami Dolphins will finish the season.

The AFC will be a fight to the end this season when it comes to deciding a Super Bowl representative, and it would be of no shock if this year’s Super Bowl winner is from the conference this Dolphins play.

Head coach Mike McDaniel went 9-8 in his first season and made the playoffs with a backup quarterback, giving the Dolphins their first playoff berth since 2016. He has had the offseason to iron out some wrinkles and fully build off the momentum of last season.

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Dolphins will go where quarterback Tua Tagovailoa takes them. Since becoming the Dolphins’ starter during the 2020 season, Tagovailoa has yet to play an entire season because of injuries, appearing in 13 games each of the past two years. Last season, Tagovailoa was sidelined by two diagnosed concussions. Still, he bulked up his frame this offseason and took jiu-jitsu classes to prepare him better to protect himself when he falls to the ground.

Tagovailoa finished the regular season throwing for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, going 8–5 in 13 games. Tagovailoa also led the league in passer rating and passing average.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were lights out last season at the wide receiver position. According to ESPN Stats and Info, they ended up with 3,066 combined yards, the third-most by a pair of teammates in NFL history. The Dolphins decided that getting the ball to Hill and Waddle almost whenever they passed was the right play; Hill had 170 targets, and Waddle had 117. Nobody else on the Dolphins had more than 52 targets. Hill set Dolphins records with 119 catches and 1,710 yards; Waddle led the NFL with 18.9 yards per catch. They put up those numbers despite Tagovailoa missing time.

Defensively, the players play the game on the field; however, adding Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator will make a significant impact. But his defensive mind has never been questioned. Fangio is considered one of the best coordinators in the NFL, and hiring him was a big move for the Dolphins. He won’t blitz much, but he has a sound scheme that will confuse quarterbacks with different coverages.

Then there’s cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Still widely considered one of the league’s best corners, his injury weighs heavily on the Dolphins’ success. He’ll miss the first several weeks of the season, and who knows what he will look like when he gets back.

The defense must be as good as possible, facing top-tier offenses like the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers. Any and every win matters on the schedule this year.

The AFC East has four of the five most rigid schedules in the league based on 2022 winning percentages.

That means a tough slate ahead for the Dolphins. The season begins with the Chargers. The division will feature games against the Bills, Patriots, and Jets, none of which will be easy. There’s the trip to Philly in October, the visit to Arrowhead two weeks later, and the home game against the Cowboys on Christmas Eve to consider.

It’s a tough slate, so 10-7 is the best-case scenario. This Dolphins group has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. But 10-7 and a wild card spot seem likely in this treacherous division.





Author: West Lamy

My passport requires no photograph. Experienced play-by-play broadcaster and multimedia sports journalist with years of producing and covering sports. WORLDWIDEWEST is a journey; in this journey my feet don't get blisters, but my shoes do.

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