Is This the Year the Miami Dolphins Finally Return to the Playoffs?

 

Miami Dolphins fans cannot wait for the 2022 NFL season to get underway so they can see their new-look team take to the field. There has been plenty of changes on and off the field since the end of the 2021 campaign, and Dolphins’ loyal supporters are hopeful those changes will result in their team reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The 2021 season was a roller coaster for everyone connected to the Miami Dolphins. An opening day 17-16 victory over the New England Patriots had supporters hoping this was the year they saw their beloved team return to the playoffs mix. However, those early season hopes looked dash when the Dolphins embarked on a seven-game losing streak, leaving them 1-7 going into November. What happened next was nothing short of remarkable: the Dolphins won their next seven games on the spin. Their playoff dreams ended on Week 17 when they lost 3-34 at the Tennessee Titans while the Los Angeles Chargers won to claim the final playoff spot.

The regular season ended on January 9, and Dolphins’ owner, Stephen M. Ross, sacked head coach Brian Flores on January 10. It was a strange move considering the turnaround in fortunes Flores oversaw. In came Mike McDaniel and a whole host of trades, which have resulted in those enjoying online sports betting in Florida placing wagers on the Dolphins reaching the playoffs for the first time in six years.

The Best Dolphins Roster For a Long Time

Acquiring the services of Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs is a significant coup for the Dolphins. Nicknamed “Cheetah,” Hill was the fastest player in the NFL at one time and has only failed to receive for more than 1,000 years since becoming a starting wide receiver, and that was because he only played 12 games that season. Pairing Hill with Jaylen Waddle is a dream scenario for the Dolphins, whose passing game will be feared this season. Waddle goes into his second year as a professional on the back of 104 receptions, 1,015 yards, and six touchdowns. Throw tight end Mike Gesicki into the mix, and the Dolphins have three excellent receivers of the ball, a trio that will cause any NFL team many problems.

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McDaniel strengthened the running back position by enticing Raheem Mostert to join the Dolphins from the San Francisco 49ers and convincing Chase Edmonds to make the switch from the Arizona Cardinals. Edmonds enjoyed 592 rushing yards in 2021, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Both will, no doubt, help Myles Gasking continue his development.

Perhaps the best signing of them all is that of Terron Armstead, who joins from the New Orleans Saints. Armstead is a three-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, a position vital to getting the best out of the one man who the offense has been built around: Tua Tagovailoa.

Will Tagovailoa Shine?

The Dolphins had two choices regarding Tagovailoa during the offseason. They could either ditch him for a more seasoned quarterback or build the offense around him. The Dolphins management team opted for the latter, giving the 2020 fifth overall pick what is likely to be his last chance. If Tagovailoa cannot have a breakout year with the weapons at his disposal, he may want to consider a career change.

The former Alabama star had a topsy turvy season in 2021, but he improved in every key statistic except interceptions, throwing ten instead of five from his rookie season. The 24-year-old has undoubted talent, but there are some question marks over his arm strength. He now has a trio of stellar targets to aim for, so expect him to smash last year’s total of 2,653 passing yards out of the park.

The Dolphins have a tough run-in at the end of the schedule, with them traveling to the 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, and Green Bay Packers on Week 13-16, but they should have enough wins under their belts by that stage to guarantee their third straight winning season and a long-awaited return to the drama of the playoffs.

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