The Tua Tagovailoa era begins in South Beach this season but will he see the field? The Dolphins ended well last season and they have a lot of young talent on both sides of the ball but will Tua play and will the team keep trending upwards in a wide-open Brady-less AFC East?
Odds to win AFC East: +700
Odds to win AFC: +4000
Odds to win Super Bowl: +10000
Key Additions: The Dolphins, surprisingly, won five games last season, and even dropping to the fifth pick in the draft got the guy they wanted in Tagovailoa.
The team also had two other first-round picks taking T Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene.
Miami was also busy in the off-season adding the RB duo of Jordan Howard and Matt Breida and bolstered the defense making CB Byron Jones the highest-paid corner in the league and LB Kyle Van Noy.
Key Losses: The only big loss was 10-year veteran S Reshad Jones.
Miami is all about the future with their 14 draft picks and taking Tua with the fifth pick but it that future this season?
Tagovailoa has major injury concerns coming off a hip injury that cost him half of his last collegiate season and has already had surgeries on both ankles. Still, he is ultra-talented and cleared to play.
If Tua sits and learns to start the seasoned veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the opening-game nod. The team has weapons with the likes of DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and Preston Williams and a revamped run-game with the new additions of Matt Breida and Jordan Howard.
The offense for the fish last season ranked dead last in rushing yards per game. They not only brought in Breida and Howard but there will be four new starters on the offensive line.
New Faces On “D”
The defense for Miami also sees many new players and the first-round draft pick of CB Noah Igbinoghene was a good one. The team struggled against the pass last season and the team hope he can help.
While Tua was the big name the team brought in the defense, which ranked 3rd to last in the league last season in yards allowed, still has issues. Is the secondary going to be better than last season? Will there be a legit pass rush? Big questions in South Beach.
It will be interesting to see what Miami does with Tua right off the bat, as the first two games are big ones coming against AFC East foes in the Patriots and Bills.
Three of the first four games for the Dolphins come against teams that made the playoffs last season and then in their next seven games facing teams that failed last season to make the post-season.
I think the Dolphins will be careful with Tua and not start him right away. The team won five of their last eight games last season and head coach Brian Flores has Miami headed in the right direction.
However, while the future is bright in South Beach it will not shine too brightly this season with Tua sitting and I see the Dolphins being around .500, which is an improvement, but they will not make the playoffs.