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NFL power rankings countdown to training camp: Miami Dolphins, No. 14

The 2021 NFL training camp is just around the corner. We break down the top 32 teams. Today, we look at the Miami Dolphins who rank No. 14 in our preseason power rankings.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are heading into a pivotal season with a third-year head coach in Brian Flores and a second-year quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. While they finished last season with a good record, they’ll need to take another step forward in 2021 to keep the heat off their young QB.

2020 record

10-6, 2nd in AFC East

2020 defense

Points: 21.1 points per game, rank 4th
Yards: 5.9 yards per play, rank 20th
Football Outsiders Ranking: 11th

2020 offense

Points: 25.2 points per game, rank 15th
Yards: 5.3 yards per play, rank 22nd
Football Outsiders Ranking: 18th

2021 DraftKings Sportsbook odds

Super Bowl: +3000
AFC/NFC Champion: +1500
DIVISION: +325
Win Total: 9 (Over -150, Under +123)

Offseason moves

The Dolphins went all-in on Tagovailoa after what many considered a disappointing rookie campaign. They had plenty of chances to add a veteran QB or draft another one in the first round, but they stuck with the Heisman winner from Alabama.

Instead of looking for other options at QB, they built around Tagovailoa. Miami made moves to get playmakers around him. The most noticeable were signing Will Fuller from Houston and then drafting Alabama speedy WR Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Biggest question entering training camp

Can Tagovailoa take the next step in his maturation? There’s been a lot of questions asked of him even after a poor minicamp performance earlier this offseason. Still, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to prove people wrong as he heads into the season as the unquestioned QB1 for the first time in his career.

What needs to happen for the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl?

The QB needs to have a gargantuan leap in his second season and the pieces around him like Fuller and Waddle need to make an immediate impact for Miami. They’ll also have to find a way to get around the Buffalo Bills, either in the regular season or the playoffs, who are being touted as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Those two regular-season division matchups will be a good measuring stick to how real the Fins actually are.

2021 Outlook

Miami has a solid roster on both offense and defense, but the trigger man will determine just how far they can go this season.