While the summer season brings much enjoyment to the average person, for an NFL fan, it represents a desolate wasteland where Sundays just aren't quite as vibrant as in the autumn months. However, with each passing day, we inch closer to the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, which officially kicks off on September 8 this year.
Whether you've had your favorite team's tweet notifications turned on all summer or if you've decided to tune out all football news entirely, you'll be able to learn everything you need to know about your team going into the 2022-23 season right here.
In today's article, I'll be discussing the Miami Dolphins.
I'm working on season guidebooks for all 32 NFL teams, which will all be released within the next few weeks. To check out another team's guidebook, click here:
2021 Season Recap
Miami's 2021 season can be defined as a Tale of Two Halves. They started the season win a one-point win against the Patriots, then lost seven straight while QB Tua Tagovailoa battled a rib injury. However, they then won eight of their final nine games to miraculously put themselves in playoff contention. Unfortunately, their 9-8 record put them just barely on the outside looking in when it was all said and done.
The Dolphins were very middle-of-the-road in most team stats for 2021, with their offense being slightly worse than their defense, relative to the rest of the league. Miami is looking for more consistency in 2022 to amass enough wins to make it to the postseason this time around in the sure-to-be competitive AFC.
Significant Roster Moves
Miami brought in a host of big names in the offseason, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, to accomplish the task just mentioned. After losing three of their top four receivers based on yardage from 2021 (DeVante Parker, Mack Hollins, Albert Wilson), the Dolphins went out and signed Tyreek Hill to a massive four-year, $120 million deal. And they didn't just stop there. Mohamed Sanu and Cedrick Wilson, Jr. join a speedy receiving corps, while QB Teddy Bridgewater will provide veteran support to Tua. The running back committee got a major overhaul, as newcomers Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Raheem Mostert make up the top three backs on the depth chart.
The defense remained relatively unchanged, with the biggest loss being the retirement of CB Jason McCourty and the biggest addition being LB Melvin Ingram III.
2022 Draft Class
The Dolphins only had four picks in this year's draft, with the first one coming in the third round. None of the selections were particularly notable, except for perhaps the drafting of another quarterback, Kansas State alum Skylar Thompson, in the 7th round. Receiver Erik Ezukanma should garner some targets relatively early and potentially work his way up the depth chart by season end.
The Dolphins will take on the AFC North and the NFC North to go along with their six divisional games. Their other three opponents are the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Chargers. With an opponent prior season win percentage of .481, Miami has the 12th easiest schedule in the NFL.
Miami's primetime games include a Thursday night game at Cincinnati and a Sunday night game versus Pittsburgh.
The Dolphins return 17 of their 22 starters from 2021, with all 11 starters on defense returning. With a now loaded offense for Tua to hand off or throw to, Miami could become one of the more explosive offensive powerhouses in the conference. It will likely depend on Tua's health and consistency throughout the year.
Mike McDaniel was hired in the offseason to be the 14th head coach of the Dolphins. He decided to hire a new offensive coordinator, Frank Smith, while retaining the defensive and special teams coordinator from 2021.
Oddsmakers have set the regular season win total for Miami at 9 games. As of right now, the Dolphins are the 2nd most likely team to win the AFC North, but only the 10th most likely team to win the whole AFC. At +4000 to win the 2023 Super Bowl, they are tied for 17th among all teams in the league.
Bucket Squad Predictions
I like this Dolphins team and think they're much better than they were last season. With that being said, I can't see them making the playoffs this season. This definitely isn't a hill I'm willing to die on or anything, but the AFC is just so stacked this year that it's going to be tough for any team to win their division or secure a wild card spot. I could be wrong, and hopefully for Dolphins fans I am, but I think they'll just miss out on the postseason again in 2022.
What do you think? Will Miami be better or worse than I'm projecting? What offseason moves made by the Dolphins surprised you the most? Leave a comment down below and be sure to check the "NFL" section of the website for more NFL team guidebooks as I finish them.
Written by Nick Swatson