Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 NFL PREVIEW - Miami Dolphins

MIAMI DOLPHINS                                                    

2014 Record:  8-8-0 (3rd in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Joe Philbin

New Players in 2015 - DL Ndamukong Suh; WR Kenny Stills; WR Greg Jennings; TE Cameron Jordan; CB Brice McCain; LB Spencer Paysinger; OL J.D. Walton; OL Jeff Linkenbach.

OFFENSIVE RANK in 2014 - 14th in NFL (350.1 ypg)

DEFENSIVE RANK in 2014 - 12th in NFL (343.4 ypg)

Offense: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads the way on offense after an impressive season last year in which he threw for 4,045 yards with 27 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. Matt Moore is the backup.
The running back is Lamar Miller, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry while going for 1,099 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns in 2014. Rookies Jay Ajayi (Boise State) and Damien Williams (Oklahoma) will provide depth.
The wide receivers include Jarvis Landry (84 receptions for 758 yards and five TD) and newcomers Kenny Stills (63, 931 and three TD with New Orleans last year), Greg Jennings (59, 742, six TD with Minnesota) and rookie DeVante Parker (Louisville). The tight end is Jordan Cameron, who caught 24 passes and scored two touchdowns with Cleveland last year in only ten games played. He replaces Charles Clay, who left for Buffalo as a free agent. Dion Sims (24, 284, two TD) is another option at the tight end spot.
The O-Line consists of center Mike Pouncey, guards Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner and tackles Branden Albert and Ja'Wuan James.

Defense: The Dolphins feature pass rush specialist Cameron Wake (11 1/2 QB sacks) up front at defensive end along with Olivier Vernon (6 1/2 sacks) and tackles Earl Mitchell and Pro-Bowl player Ndamukong Suh, who comes over from the Detroit Lions.
The much sought after free agent Suh is a player the 'Fins will be counting to help the run defense,  which allowed 121 yards per game last season, ranking 24th in the league. Rookie Jordan Phillips (Oklahoma) will get his chance up front as well.
The linebackers are Koa Misi in the middle along with Jelani Jenkins and Chris McCain on the outside. Rookie Mike Hull and free agent Spencer Paysinger provide depth.
The secondary has corner men Will Davis and savvy veteran Brent Grimes, who was among the AFC leaders with five interceptions last year. The safeties are Reshad Jones (three picks) and Louis Delmas.

OUTLOOK FOR 2015 - Tannehill had a decent year in 2014 and his continued progress is vital if the Dolphins want to make the playoffs this season.
Head Coach Joe Philbin was somewhat on the hot seat a year ago following a tumultuous 2013 campaign that saw much strife in the locker room as he lost control of the team. He is looking forward and hopeful of better things ahead in the 2015 season after a .500 finish a year ago.
The offense should do a good enough job to keep the team competitive with a nice mix of running and passing, especially with some added veteran talent to go along with Tannehill's passing skills.
The defense is solid and can get after the quarterback (39 team sacks a year ago) but has to improve against the run. Suh is expected to help up front to solve that problem.
The first part of the schedule favors the Dolphins and a quick start will be very important as they battle with Buffalo to try and catch the mighty New England Patriots in the AFC East.
The playoffs are attainable as long as Tannehill limits the turnovers and the defense doesn't give up too many big plays.
An 8-8 record is likely once again, depending on the team's health and the continued progress of Tannehill. But don't overlook the Dolphins, who just might achieve double-digit wins this year and get back in the post-season for the first time since the 2008 season.

Week 1 - at Washington Redskins
Week 2 - at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 3 - vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 4 - vs. New York Jets
Week 5 - BYE WEEK
Week 6 - at Tennessee Titans
Week 7 - vs. Houston Texans
Week 8 - at New England Patriots
Week 9 - at Buffalo Bills
Week 10 - at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 11 - vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 12 - at New York Jets
Week 13 - vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 14 - vs. New York Giants
Week 15 - at San Diego Chargers
Week 16 - vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 17 - vs. New England Patriots

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