The Dolphins had a good 2020 campaign solidifying their defense and finding a potential franchise quarterback. Head coach Brian Flores has this team trending in the right direction but can this 2021 Dolphins squad make it to the postseason?
Starting QB Tua Tagovailoa leads the Dolphins out of the tunnel
Dolphins make a splash in the AFC East
The Dolphins have expectations of making it to the postseason this year, and if 2020 was an indicator they are trending in the right direction. With the picks they received from the Laremy Tunsil trade to the Texans and the expectations for the future of Tua at QB, the Dolphins are ready to win now. The Dolphins defense were Top-10 in defensive efficiency last season with the 6th best passing defense in the league. Brian Flores is a defensive minded coach but the offense will be the key to a successful 2021 run. The Dolphins roster ranks 22nd on Pro Football Focus.
The Dolphins were ranked 6th in Points Against averaging 21.1 per game.
The main question for the Dolphins is the play at the quarterback position. Coming off a fantastic career at Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip in a game against Mississippi St. That injury has carried with him through the draft process and his rookie season. In 2020, Tua passed for 1,814 yards for 11 touchdowns and 5 picks with a QBR rating of 44.8. He split time throughout last season with Ryan Fitzpatrick (who now plays for Washington) in spots where he struggled. The Phins got Tua some help at wide receiver, drafting Jaylen Waddle, adding him with Albert Wilson, DeVante Parker and a currently suspended Will Fuller V.
Brian Flores is starting his 3rd season as head coach of the Dolphins. After coaching for the Patriots from 2004-2018 where he served as safeties and linebackers coach for his last 7 seasons with the Pats, coach Flores finished 10-6 in his second season in Miami.
“I believe in hard work. I believe in putting the team first. I believe in team. If you want to strive to do something great as a group, you’ve got to work together.” Brian Flores during introductory press conference.
The Phins are quietly creating a sneaky defense for 2021. Miami’s defense vastly improved last year, going from 32nd in points allowed to sixth. Nine starters return for this unit, headlined by cornerback Xavien Howard . The first-team All-Pro selection led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 2020 and added 20 pass breakups and a forced fumble. Adding to the defense the Dolphins drafted Jaelan Phillips (EDGE, UCLA and Miami) and Jevon Holland (S, Oregon) to bolster a already elite defensive unit.
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Miami Dolphins Odds
I’m tracking NFL offseason betting odds for you throughout the summer. Every time a new team preview is added or the futures market takes a significant swing, I’ll post on social media and you can stay up to date as we countdown to kickoff.
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2021 NFL Season Win Total Odds: 9 OVER -135 / UNDER +115
Pre-draft NFL Win Total Odds: 9 OVER -130 / UNDER +100
2020 Record: 10-6
Average Wins 2015-20: Average 8 wins
Odds to win the Division: +325 (finish 2nd place)
Net Strength of Schedule: 5th easiest schedule
The Dolphins have the 5th easiest schedule out of the 32 teams. The combined record of opponents in 2020 was 128-144. The most difficult game on the Phins schedule has to be the away game vs the Bills (Week 8). Buffalo are favorites to win the division and were just one game away from the Super Bowl last season. Week 5 is another tough test for the Phins has they travel to Tampa to take on the Bucs.
The Dolphins face the Patriots at home Week 1 and finished in New England on Week 18
Miami faces off against the NFC South this season, with trips to Tampa and New Orleans. They also face the Panthers and Falcons at home. Another tough game on the schedule is a home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Dolphins face the Jags this season, they are 5-5 all time verse Jacksonville
The game against the Jags will be played in London, the 5th time the Phins have traveled across the big pond. Miami played in the first game played in London where they faced off against the eventual Super Bowl champion NY Giants. They are 1-3 in game played in London, losing 20-0 against the Saints in 2017.
Miami Dolphins Trends
Behind a good defense and an offense that can be explosive at times look for the Dolphins to flirt with the spread week to week.
- 11-5 ATS record finished tied for the best record in the league
The Dolphins finished with a 7-1 ATS record at Home last season.
- If you bet $50 on the Dolphins against the spread last season = +$263.98
Flores loves to roll the dice and brings the heat more than most, blitzing on 40.8 percent of snaps last season. The Dolphins were the most chaos-causing teams in the NFL, recording 47 sacks and a league-high 29 takeaways – 11 of those on 16 forced fumbles (two of which went back for a TD).
Dolphins Bottom Line
Offensive production will be the key for the Dolphins this season. They bring back a defensive who can evolve into a top-5 unit. Can Tua lead the Dolphins to the playoffs? Or will Miami be looking for a new signal caller in the off-season?
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