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.
10-6, 2nd in AFC East
Points: 21.1 points per game, rank 4th
Yards: 5.9 yards per play, rank 20th
Football Outsiders Ranking: 11th
Points: 25.2 points per game, rank 15th
Yards: 5.3 yards per play, rank 22nd
Football Outsiders Ranking: 18th
Super Bowl: +3000
AFC/NFC Champion: +1500
Win Total: 9 (Over -150, Under +123)
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.
Miami has a solid roster on both offense and defense, but the trigger man will determine just how far they can go this season.