- After opening 2018 with three straight wins, the Dolphins struggled to finish the season with a 7-9 record
- Ryan Tannehill and Danny Amendola lead long list of players who departed Miami this offseason
- Faced with a challenging schedule and improving division rivals, it could be a long 2019 season in Miami
It was another disappointing NFL season in South Florida in 2018, with the Miami Dolphins squandering a hot start to finish 7-9 and out of contention for the NFL playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
The Dolphins have already dived into an offseason overhaul, parting ways with head coach Adam Gase and starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but with things in Miami likely to get worse before they get better, the Dolphins have opened at the bottom of the NFL season props, pegged at 5.0 on the 2019 NFL win totals.
Projected 2019 NFL Regular Season Win Totals
|Team||Projected Win Total||O/U Odds||Avg Wins Last 3 Yrs|
|Miami Dolphins||5.0||O (-130) / U (+110)||7.6|
|Arizona Cardinals||5.5||O (-110o/ U (-110)||6.0|
|Washington Redskins||6.0||O (-110) /U (-110)||7.3|
|Cincinnati Bengals||6.0||O (-110) / U (-110)||7.3|
|New York Giants||6.0||O (+110) / U (-130)||6.3|
*Odds taken 04/05/19
Dismal 2018 Campaign Followed by Wave of Player Departures
A lot of things went right for the Dolphins in the early going of the 2018 NFL season. Buoyed by Tannehill’s return after the seven-year veteran missed the entire 2017 campaign with a knee injury, Miami raised early hopes with wins over Tennessee, Oakland, and the New York Jets to open the schedule.
However, opponents would quickly solve both the Dolphins’ ineffective offence and porous defense, handing Miami outright defeats by double-digit margins in eight of their final 13 contests.
#Dolphins GM Chris Grier says losing RT Ja’Wuan James “was a blow” to the team; says QB Ryan Fitzpatrick knows he’s not a long term solution at the position; and says it was time to move on from Ryan Tannehill, who “gave his heart and soul” to the Dolphins organization. pic.twitter.com/aaQf8E0UzK
— Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) March 25, 2019
With Tannehill leading a wave of departures including Danny Amendola, Josh Sitton, Cameron Wake, and Ja’Wuan James, general manager Chris Grier and newly hired head coach Brian Flores have their work cut out for them filling immediate holes while planning for the future.
Fitzpatrick Takes Over Under Center as Search for QB of the Future Begins
One of those future priorities can be found under center. While the signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick puts the ball in the hands of a mature competent pivot for now, the Dolphins remain in desperate need of a young quarterback to build around.
Pursuing a franchise quarterback through the draft will likely have to wait a year.
But with the Dolphins currently owning the No. 13 pick in next month’s NFL Draft, and also in desperate need of help on both the offensive and defensive lines, pursuing a franchise quarterback through the draft will likely have to wait a year.
The Dolphins doing practically nothing to keep or sign players is exactly what this team needs to do this year. Rebuild starts in round one of the draft- which won’t be a QB.
— Asher Wildman (@AsherWildMan6) March 12, 2019
Stiff Divisional Competition, Challenging Schedule Awaits in 2019
Further complicating matters for the Dolphins is their continued unlikelihood to gain ground on divisional opponents in the AFC East. Once again the New England Patriots lead the way, pegged as short +400 favorites to repeat as AFC conference champions. Led by pivot Sam Darnold, the New York Jets are also expected to make gains in 2019 after adding running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker CJ Mosley.
Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley are now official, everybody. Man.. have to tip your hat off to Maccagnan. This organization has struggled for a long time and times are finally starting to feel bright. #Jets pic.twitter.com/A5hkfdtaRe
— DieHardJetsFan (@NYSports0117) March 15, 2019
A tough 2019 schedule that will feature road dates with the much-improved Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans also contribute to bleak prospects for next season.
To Tank or Not to Tank
Is the stage set for the Dolphins to tank in 2019? That is looking like a real possibility.
Miami has been trapped in a vicious cycle of mediocrity over the past 15 years, winning more than nine games or fewer than six in just three of the past 14 seasons, leaving them stranded in a no man’s land of unrealistic expectations and weak draft position.
The Miami Dolphins are exactly 196-196 over the last 25 years. Time to blow up the mediocrity.
— Big Mike (@MiaFins1) October 30, 2018
With Grier now in full control of football operations, and Flores arriving in town with lots of job security after winning four Super Bowls in New England as part of Bill Belichick’s coaching staff, look for the Dolphins to take a long view in terms of bringing this team back to respectability. That will likely translate into another bleak season in 2019 for long-suffering Dolphins fans.
Pick: Under 5.0 wins (+110)
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