What if everything you thought you knew turned out to be wrong? What if
What if the Miami Dolphins were actually good? It could happen, right?
Not according to the so-called experts. They said the Dolphins would suck this year. Nearly everyone had Miami as one the NFL's worst teams entering this season. Mock drafts had the Fins picking a quarterback in the top five next year. The Dolphins were considered to be, well, the same old Dolphins except even worse than usual.
But now the Dolphins' 2-0 start to the season says otherwise. The first eight quarters of 2018 haven't been the same-old, same-old in Miami.
Could the Dolphins still stink it up the rest of the season and finish toward the bottom of the league? Sure. Does it look like that will happen? Not one damn bit. Here are a few reasons the hatin'-ass experts got it wrong when they predicted the Dolphins would supersuck this year.
1. Ryan Tannehill does not need to be Aaron Rodgers for the Dolphins to win. Listen: It's almost 2019. If you're still waiting for Ryan Tannehill to morph into Tom Brady on the way to a Super Bowl season, you're higher than a kite in a hurricane.
Tannehill is who he is: a quarterback you know everything and nothing about. One moment he's dropping a football in a breadbasket from 50 yards away for a touchdown pass Dan Marino would be proud of; the next he's dropping the football like a toddler at his own ten-yard line. Tannehill is an unsolvable Magic Eye poster. Stop trying to look for something that isn't there.
This Dolphins offense doesn't need Tannehill to be Marino. Hell, it doesn't even need Tannehill to be the quarterback people have been looking for since 2012. This team simply needs him to get the ball where it should go, and fast.
2. The Dolphins defense has been a lot better than expected. Through two games, it's very tough to make blanket statements about whether an entire side of the football is better than the experts predicted it would be, but through eight quarters, the Dolphins defense undoubtedly has some
There seems to be the right amount of athletic youth (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jerome Baker, Davon Godchaux, Raekwon McMillan) mixed with an adequate number of dependable, in-their-prime veterans (Reshad Jones, Kiko Alonso, Cam Wake). It's tough to find a happy medium when it comes to young, unproven starters mixed with win-now vets, but the Dolphins seem to have found something.
This rotation of young studs to eventual mainstays on the Dolphins defense used to be a tradition. It seems to be on its way back.
3. These guys actually like one another, and it shows. There is one noticeable difference when it comes to these Miami Dolphins: The players are far more likable than some other recent teams. Whether the fans like the players on the field doesn't matter, but what is evident through two games this season is that the players actually like one another a lot more. The difference is glaring: There are team pictures after touchdowns, not chest-pumping, look-at-me celebrations after short third-down conversions.
Whether good chemistry can actually translate to wins is debatable, but the Dolphins are clearly a closer team because of those relationships. One glaring difference has been the replacement of Jarvis Landry with Albert Wilson. It's clear Wilson and Kenny Stills are close, both on and off the field. A team that is united in giving a shit always has a better chance to succeed.
4. Somehow the Dolphins have become one of fastest teams in the NFL. The Fins might have the fastest group of offensive playmakers in the NFL. Yes, the Dolphins very well might have the speediest group of skill position players on the offensive side of the ball in the entire NFL. That happened, and it's already proven to be a big deal.
Between Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, and Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins can put four guys on the field who can run and shake with anyone in the NFL. Good luck with that, defenses. In the past, the Dolphins' best bet was to 20-yard-pass teams to death and hope for one or two miracle long passes a season. This year, the Dolphins have already hit on multiple long-bomb touchdowns, and Grant took a kickoff back to the house in the game against the Tennessee Titans.
The Dolphins offense looks to have finally found the sort of athletes needed in the 2018 NFL. It's about time.
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5. The Dolphins can't be better than the Bills and Jets but also one of the worst teams in football. This reason is sponsored by math! The Buffalo Bills are a horrid mess. They don't even seem to be an NFL-caliber team through two games. The New York Jets are just an experiment led by a wet-behind-the-ears rookie quarterback (Sam Darnold) who looks good at times but more often than not makes a mistake that can cost his team a game.
The Dolphins play these teams a combined four times and have already won one of those games. The Fins already beat the Titans. Basic arithmetic tells us the Dolphins have a fantastic shot at winning five games this year if they beat no one else but the Bills and Jets. This doesn't even take into account that the Fins are scheduled to play the Raiders, who are a hot mess, this week.
Barring injuries, the Dolphins should cakewalk to six or seven wins this season. It's just math. Maybe the
haters experts should try it sometime.