Dolphins Seahawks Pick

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Miami Dolphins

vs.

Seattle Seahawks

Week 1

NFK Pick

9/11/16

The Seattle Seahawks open the season as a large favorite over the Miami Dolphins (-10.5 at betonline). Russell Wilson enters his fifth season in the NFL coming off, far and away, his best season since becoming the Seahawks starting quarterback as a rookie in  2012. In 2015 Wilson threw for over 4,000 yards. In his first three seasons he never reached 3,500. He threw 34 touchdown passes. He had never thrown more than 26 in any season prior. And for the third consecutive season, Wilson limited his interceptions thrown to less than 10. Wilson was impressive by any measure you use.

Some were surprised when Marshawn LyNCh called it quits fallowing the 2015 season. He had meant so much to recent deep playoff runs. An injury-plagued year limited LyNCh to only 417 yards on 111 carries, but Thomas Rawls did a solid job as a rookie picking up the slack. Rawls ran the ball 147 times for 830 yards. Rawls has missed some time in the preseason with an injury, but he is expected to be healthy for the season opener and should get plenty of opportunity to improve as the season progresses.

Also at Wilson’s disposal are his top Four targets from last year. Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett and Jimmy Graham all helped Wilson to his tremendous season. The continuity would suggest that they’ll do similar things again in 2016. The Four combined for 226 receptions, 3,023 yards and 27 touchdowns last season.

On top of all that, Seattle’s defense ought to be as stout as it has been in recent seasons. Richard Sherman, Kam ChaNCellor, Michael Bennett, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas all return. Needless to say, Seattle has done a great job of keeping its core team intact from the last few seasons.

In Miami, a lot is being expected of Ryan Tannehill. Entering his fifth year in the NFL, Tannehill has shown marginal improvement in his last couple of years. It may not be the rate of progress that fans would like to see, but there may be some room for optimism as well.

Tannehill’s top target, in Jarvis LAndry returns to Miami. He caught 110 balls for 1,157 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2015. Also returning is DeVante Parker. Some may remember Parker for having something of an underwhelming rookie season last year (26 receptions, 494 yards, 3 touchdowns). But, Parker produced big over the final three Games of the season. He caught 13 passes for 286 yards and a touchdown down the stretch.

The backfield will be something of a mystery entering the season. Last year’s leading rusher, LAmar Miller, is now with the Texans. That leaves Jay Ajayi as the leading returning back with only 49 carries and 187 yards from last year. The Dolphins have also brought in veteran running back Arian Foster in hopes that he will be able to recapture the magic of the 2014 season he had in Houston.

Prediction: In a league where we have often seen teams go from worst to first in a one year time span, we’ll take the very generous spot here in week 1 with the Dolphins. Dolphins +10.5
 

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