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ESPN: Are Dolphins For Real?

ESPN: Are Dolphins For Real?
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Today's ESPN feature column looks at the Miami Dolphins. What's going right, and how has that led them to rank No. 2 in DVOA through three weeks? What parts of their performance are sustainable, and what parts are not?

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2 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2018, 4:07am

1 Re: ESPN: Are Dolphins For Real?

nope, they aint. conspiracy theorists will say that FO hyped them up to make NE look all the better when they beat them in foxboro like they always beat them there, but I dont think that's what happened. although this looks like itll be the first time in forever that the afc is represented in the super bowl by a team thats not QBed by brady, peyton, roethlisberger, or [ravens starting qb] and might even be the year ne's combination of a bye week AND conf. champ. game appearance streak ends!!

2 Re: ESPN: Are Dolphins For Real?

Well, your crystal ball is definitely accurate as far as the possibility of a Peyton Superbowl. Besides that, though, the spirit world isn't really giving you much of an edge. The Ravens look at least decent with Flacco playing better than he has in years (although they lost pretty convincingly to the only other decent team they've played so far). Steelers do look troubled but their roster remains among the most talented in the league. Last season they started off pretty mediocre as well, 3-2 after terrific beatdown at the hands of the Jags with a loss to a bad Bears team as well. Those Steelers only lost one more game in the regular season.
Indeed there are some interesting new AFC contenders, and some perennial contenders,but each has flaws - K.C. is relying on a rookie QB to win shootouts, the Jags face defensive, and Blake Bortles, regression and can't beat the Titans who could as easily be 0-4 as 3-1. The Bengals are...the Bengals.
The curb stomping the Pats just delivered to the Dolphins should silence the hot-take haters for a week but it was more than just business as usual. The defense played its best game in over a 18 months - tight coverage, consistent pass rush, and surprising team speed. Miami has a talent lack across the roster, especially on offense, but the Pats still held Tannehill for 100 yards passing. 100! Pretty good for the modern NFL. Miami couldn't run, couldn't pass and couldn't convert 3rd downs. The Brady looked like he was developing a rapport with his receivers while Josh Gordon showed flashes of 2013. With Cannon back, the Pats were really able to push the the Phins defensive front with Michel and co. waltzing through gigantic holes.
Last year the Pats were also 2-2 at this point. They ended up 13-3 despite an atrocious defense, worse, I'd argue, than . Next week Brady gets his binky back, although it's fair to wonder if Edelman will be effective. The rest of the division looks dreadful, and while they have some tough teams on the schedule, they do get the Packers, Chiefs, and Vikings at home. Titans, Steelers, Bears on the road could be struggles, but only Titans are sure to be even decent. 11 wins seems to be a good bet, with the possibility of more not outrageous.