By: Will Stevenson
*All stats derived from Pro Football Reference* PFR Dolphins
Record: 10-6-0, 2nd AFC East Division
Coach: Adam Gase (10-6-0)
Points For: 363 (22.7/g) 17th of 32
Points Against: 380 (23.8/g) 18th of 32
Expected W-L: 7.6-8.4
Last Playoff Appearance: (2008) Lost in the WC
After a 30-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Miami Dolphins fell to 1-4 to open the 2016 season. The Dolphins looked like they were once again headed to another season in which they missed the playoffs. The last time the Dolphins made the playoffs, Tom Brady had torn his ACL and missed the season. As for this season, the defensive line was failing again, the offensive line was in shambles, Ryan Tannehill still wasn’t getting the ball downfield, and first-year Head Coach Adam Gase looked to be another failure for the Dolphins. Then, something amazing happened: Arian foster retired, the offensive line got healthy and the schedule opened up like the Red Sea (allegedly). We all know the NFL schedule is what it is. No team can account for injuries, complacency, weather and the most glaring factor: Football. The Despite those factors, the Dolphins have Kansas City Chief’d their way into this year’s playoffs. Jay Ajayi is a running force, Kenny Stills is a deep weapon, Devontae Parker is alright, and Jarvis Landry is the possession receiver that can keep Matt Moore safe who is filling in for the injured Tannehill. The Dolphins finished the season with a 9-2 record.
Longest Winning Streak (6 games): Steelers, Bills, Jets, Chargers, Rams, 49ers
Last five games: Ravens (L), Cardinals (W), Jets (W), Bills (W), Patriots (L)
So here they are, back in the playoffs with a team that is missing more than normal amount of players that contributed to their season’s success. They will be playing the Steelers again, the same Steelers they beat early in the season. I wouldn’t bet on the Dolphins injuring Big Ben again, and the Steelers offense has been rolling. One thing to remember is the Dolphins put up over 450 yards against the Steelers defense during their regular season match-up.
The Dolphins were among the leaders in the league with the most explosive plays (plays over 20 yards) which would surprise most, so that is something they can look to exploit to take the crowd out of the game early. The Dolphins running game has been more than effective even though Mike Pouncey has missed a few games this season. Shock plays and running game will keep the game close for the Dolphins who are a -10 underdog.