The Dolphins fell below their 2021 win total (by half a game) for the first time in Brian Flores’s three-year tenure, which was apparently enough for owner Stephen Ross to head in a new direction yet again. Dave Wannstedt was the last Dolphins’ head coach to make it through four seasons back in 2000-03, and he resigned nine games into the 2004 season. Miami was headed toward a disastrous season with seven consecutive losses after beating the Patriots in the season opener, but they righted the ship by winning seven consecutive games. The Dolphins became the first team to lose seven straight games and to win seven straight games in the same season. As soon as Miami got back above .500, they failed to stick the landing with a humbling 31-point loss to the Titans in Week 17. The Dolphins became the first team to win seven straight games and miss the playoffs since Washington did it back in 1996 — 79 teams won 7+ games and made the playoffs between 1996-2020.
The jury remains out on Tua Tagovailoa’s viability as a franchise quarterback through two seasons, and Miami’s leadership certainly did their part to undermine him at times with their pursuit of Deshaun Watson hanging over the team. It didn’t help that Tua fractured his ribs early into the second game of the season, which sent the Dolphins spiraling in the wrong direction. It didn’t help that his receiving corps went from a potential strength to a major weakness with Will Fuller (finger) and DeVante Parker (hamstring/shoulder) registering just 12 games played. Tua will have no excuses this season after they traded for Tyreek Hill this off-season. It also didn’t help that Tua had one of the league’s worst backfields behind him and one of the league’s worst offensive line in front of him. The Dolphins have whiffed on selecting linemen in recent drafts, but they crushed it by selecting Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland with their first three picks last year.
2021 By the Numbers
Record (ATS): 9-8 (9-7-1)
Season Win Total: 9.5 (under)
One-possession Record: 4-3
Missed Playoff Odds: -145
Over/Under record: 7-10
PPG: 20.1 (22nd)
PPG Allowed: 21.9 (t15th)
Point Differential: -32 (21st)
|1||New England Patriots||-3||1|
|4||@Cincinnati Bengals||+4.5||8:15 (Thurs)|
|5||@New York Jets||-2.5||1|
|13||@San Francisco 49ers||+3.5||4:05|
|14||@Los Angeles Chargers||+5.5||4:05|
|16||Green Bay Packers||+1||1|
|17||@New England Patriots||+1.5||1|
|18||New York Jets||-5.5||TBA|
The Dolphins have the 14th-easiest schedule based on opponent win totals (per Sharp Football).
Miami faces one opponent coming off of a bye when they host the Browns in Week 10.
The Dolphins have just one short-rest road game against the Bengals on TNF in Week 4.
The Dolphins will travel the fourth-most miles (25,178) and cross 14 time zones this season (per Bookies.com).
Miami has three straight road games against the 49ers, Chargers, and Bills in Weeks 13-15.
The Dolphins have an extra road game.
Miami has just two primetime games when they travel to Cincinnati in Week 4 and they host Pittsburgh in Week 7.
Key Off-season Moves
|WR Tyreek Hill||LB Channing Tindall||QB Jacoby Brissett (Cle)|
|OT Terron Armstead||WR Erik Ezukanma||C Greg Mancz (Buf)|
|WR Cedrick Wilson||WR Will Fuller|
|QB Teddy Bridgewater||OT Jesse Davis (Min)|
|RB Chase Edmonds|
|RB Raheem Mostert|
|FB Alec Ingold|
|OG Connor Williams|
|CB Keion Crossen|
|EDGE Melvin Ingram|
|RB Sony Michel|
2022 Season Odds
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
|Season Win Total (O/U)||9 (+105/-125)|
Season Prop Movement
Win Total: 8.5 (-125) in late March to 9 (+105) in early July
Super Bowl: +3600 in mid-February to +4000 in early July
Reasons to Bet Over the Season Win Total
Miami hasn’t fallen under its win total in the last four years with a 3-0-1 record in that span. The Dolphins have won just one AFC East in 2008 since division realignment in 2002, but they loaded up on talent this off-season to become contenders again. They surrounded the enigmatic Tua Tagovailoa with two stars at their respective positions in Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead. The Dolphins also raided the Cowboys by adding Cedrick Wilson and Connor Williams to help the WR and O-line corps. They’re going to quickly find out if Tua is their quarterback of the future this season. New HC Mike McDaniel is also one of the league’s more intriguing young offensive minds and we’ll see if it translates in his elevated role in Miami.
Miami shipped away plenty of draft capital to land Tyreek but they crushed the Draft last season to give them plenty of young talent. Jaylen Waddle re-wrote the NFL’s rookie record book with 104 receptions, Jevon Holland finished with 69 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions, and Jaelan Phillips flashed with 8.5 sacks in his final 14 games. Holland and Phillips are a part of a defense that’s talented enough to make significant strides after finishing in the middle of the pack in total and scoring defense. The Dolphins need Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to have bounce-back campaigns and Christian Wilkins to keep up his steady improvement.
Reasons to Bet Under the Season Win Total
The Dolphins toyed with the idea of trading for Deshaun Watson for over a year, but they finally decided to go all-in on Tua Tagovailoa…for at least for 2022. Miami brought in a brilliant offensive-minded HC in Mike McDaniel, they traded for Tyreek Hill, and they beefed up his offensive line. It’s now on Tua’s shoulders to make the next step in his development after a frustrating first two seasons. He averaged just 6.8 YPA in 2021 despite completing 67.8% of his passes, and he finished with a higher aDOT (7.4 yards) than just Jared Goff, Ben Roethlisberger, and Daniel Jones. Tua also owned an ugly 2.6% INT rate despite his extremely conservative approach. His development this season will likely determine their level of success, and it’s at least slightly concerning that they handed Teddy Bridgewater $6.5 million guaranteed to be his backup for one season.
Miami’s offensive line should be much better after landing Terron Armstead and Connor Williams in free agency, but they should still be one of the league’s weaker O-lines overall because of how poorly they’ve drafted in recent seasons. Armstead is one of the league’s best left tackles but he’s missed at least two games in every season, and he played in just six of 17 games last season because of elbow and knee injuries. McDaniel has never even called plays and he’s getting thrown into the fire as a head coach for the first time. He’ll try to avoid a similar fate to another Kyle Shanahan disciple, Robert Saleh, who struggled in his first season in charge with the Jets last season. The Dolphins have a brutal five-game stretch in Weeks 13-17 against the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, Packers, and Patriots when they could be looking to get over the hump late in the season.
Notable Player Props
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Tua Tagovailoa: passing yards (4000.5), passing TDs (25.5), INTs (12.5), MVP (+5000), most passing yards (+2800)
Fantasy Points Projection — passing yards (3895), passing TDs (27), INTs (12)
Best-Case Scenario: Armed with one of the league’s best receivers (Tyreek Hill) and best tackles (Terron Armstead), Tua proves he’s Miami’s quarterback of the future with a breakout third season.
Worst-Case Scenario: Tua can’t improve upon his 6.6 YPA and his 2.2% INT rate despite having big-play receivers in Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki.
Tyreek Hill: receiving yards (1099.5), receiving TDs (8.5), most receiving yards (+1400), OPOY (+4000)
Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (1105.5), receiving TDs (8)
- Best-Case Scenario: Hill brings out the best in Tua Tagovailoa in his first season in Miami, and new HC Mike McDaniel lives up to the hype with plenty of schemes to get Hill open.
- Worst-Case Scenario: Hill can’t overcome his massive downgrade at quarterback going from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa, and it doesn’t help that Jaylen Waddle is a formidable challenge to his target share.
Jaylen Waddle: receiving yards (925.5), receiving TDs (5.5), most receiving yards (+6000)
Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (1045), receiving TDs (8)
- Best-Case Scenario: Tyreek Hill’s presence opens up the passing attack for Waddle to get better downfield looks after posting an ugly aDOT of 7.0 yards during his rookie season.
- Worst-Case Scenario: Waddle comes nowhere close to replicating his record-breaking rookie season with Tyreek Hill taking a significant chunk out of his 25% target share from 2021.
Mike Gesicki: receiving yards (625.5), receiving TDs (4.5)
Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (710), receiving TDs (3.5)
- Best-Case Scenario: Gesicki, playing on a franchise tag, earns himself a big new contract in the off-season after he posts another career season for the fourth straight year.
- Worst-Case Scenario: Gesicki’s role is minimized with Tyreek Hill coming to town and he finds himself on the bench more in Mike McDaniel’s offense, which emphasizes blocking from its tight ends.
Best Bets and Leans
None of Note.
Miami Dolphins under nine wins (-125, DraftKings)
- The Dolphins are one of the biggest wild cards this season with two major variables at quarterback and head coach. I’m having a tough time putting my complete faith in Tua Tagovailoa as a quarterback to build around, but we’ll find out this season with Tyreek Hill added at receiver. I also think Mike McDaniel might be an excellent head coach eventually, but I could see him taking his lumps after never even calling plays under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. The Dolphins could get off to a good start with matchups against the Jets, Bears, Lions, and Texans in the first 12 weeks, but they could have trouble getting home with showdowns against the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, Packers, and Patriots in Weeks 13-17.