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Miami Dolphins 2023 Season Preview

Miami Dolphins 2023 Season Preview
Photo courtesy of Rich Storry/USA Today.

Miami Dolphins 2023 Season Preview & Record Prediction

2022 Record: 9-8

The Miami Dolphins marked a notable achievement in the 2022 season, finally returning to the postseason for the first time since 2016. Although their playoff journey was cut short by a defeat by division rivals, the Buffalo Bills, there were numerous positives to glean from their performance. Under the guidance of first-year head coach Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins’ offense flourished, showcasing McDaniel’s prowess as one of the league’s youngest and brightest offensive minds.

Despite adversity with multiple concussions, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa exhibited significant progress in his third year as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback, adding promise to the team’s future endeavors. As the Dolphins gear up for the 2023 season, they aim to build on their achievements, setting their sights on more profound playoff aspirations and continued growth under their talented young coach and emerging quarterback.

Previewing the Dolphins’ Offense

Under the guidance of new head coach Mike McDaniel, the Miami Dolphins’ offense flourished, displaying significant growth and prowess during the 2022 season. Impressive numbers speak to their success, with the unit finishing sixth in total offense (6,197 yards), fourth in passing yards (4,511), fifth in passing touchdowns (30), and third in offensive yards per play (6.1). A key trade acquisition, Tyreek Hill, proved to be a game-changer, setting a career-high with 119 receptions and an impressive 1,710 receiving yards.

Hill showcased his versatility by catching passes from quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater, and Skylar Thompson. The former Chiefs wide receiver’s aspirations for an even better 2023 season are high, with the ambitious goal of becoming the league’s first wideout to achieve a 2,000-yard season. Joining the success story was fellow teammate Jaylen Waddle, who experienced a breakout year, recording 75 receptions for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns.

The impact of Coach McDaniel was perhaps most evident in the performance of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Despite facing multiple concussions during the season, the former Alabama QB achieved career-highs in passing yards (3,548) and touchdown passes (25) while keeping interceptions to a mere eight. The resilience and improvement demonstrated by Tagovailoa underscored the positive influence of the coaching staff and the promising future for the Dolphins’ signal-caller.

Turning to the rushing attack, the team made astute moves by re-signing veteran backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, providing stability and experience in the backfield. However, the spotlight falls on rookie running back Devon Achane, hailing from Texas A&M. His presence promises to add a dynamic dimension to the Dolphins’ offense, making it even more potent than last season. With an explosive array of talent and a skilled coaching staff, the Miami Dolphins offense is poised to continue its upward trajectory in the 2023 season, leaving fans eager for the excitement ahead.

Previewing the Dolphins’ Defense

The Miami Dolphins defense faced its share of challenges during the 2022 season, falling short of expectations as evidenced by their rankings of 26th in scoring defense, 27th in third-down defense, and 25th in the red zone defense. In response to their defensive struggles, the team took decisive action, parting ways with defensive coordinator Josh Boyer and making a significant addition to their coaching staff by hiring renowned guru Vic Fangio.

Vic Fangio brings a wealth of experience and numerous accolades to the Dolphins’ coaching staff. Throughout his illustrious career, Fangio has earned a reputation as one of the top defensive minds in the NFL. He has a proven track record of developing formidable defenses. He has been a key figure behind the success of notable teams, such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears. His strategic insight and ability to maximize the potential of his players are well-documented, and he has mentored and worked with top-tier defensive talents throughout his career.

One of Fangio’s most notable achievements came during his tenure with the Bears, where he led the defense to be one of the most dominant in the league, particularly during the 2018 season when the team’s defense was a driving force in their playoff appearance.

Adding to the defensive firepower is the acquisition of All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Los Angeles Rams. Giving up only a third-round pick and tight end, Hunter Long, the Dolphins secured the services of one of the league’s premier cornerbacks. Ramsey’s exceptional coverage skills and playmaking abilities will significantly bolster the Dolphins’ secondary and provide a shutdown presence on the field.

Furthermore, the Dolphins solidified their linebacker corps by reaching a substantial agreement with Bradley Chubb, acquired before last year’s trade deadline. Chubb agreed to a five-year, $119 million extension, with an impressive $63.2 million guaranteed. His presence on the defense ensures stability and impact in the pass rush.

Several young talents, including Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland, are returning to the fold. These emerging stars, combined with Fangio’s expert guidance and the addition of Jalen Ramsey, are set to revitalize and strengthen the Miami Dolphins’ defense. With a renewed focus on improvement, the Dolphins’ defense is poised to make significant strides in the 2023 season, transforming into a formidable force that opponents must reckon with.

Important Games

Bills: (October 1) (January 7)

Eagles: (October 22)

Chiefs: (November 5)

Jets: (November 24) (December 17)

Commanders: (December 3)

Cowboys: (December 24)

Ravens: (December 31)

Projected Outlook

The Miami Dolphins emerge as our projected winners of the highly competitive AFC East, despite facing significant challenges within the division and the conference. The team’s success hinges on the health and performance of three key players, Jalen Ramsey, Tyreek Hill, and Tua Tagovailoa, as they navigate the rigorous stretch of the season and position themselves for a deep playoff push. Ramsey will not be available for at least the first half of the season after tearing his meniscus during a training camp drill.  The presence of Ramsey in the secondary provides the Dolphins with an elite shutdown corner, and his ability to stay healthy and maintain peak performance will be crucial to the defense’s success down the stretch.

Equally critical is the health and progression of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. As the Dolphins’ young signal-caller, Tagovailoa’s development and ability to stay on the field will significantly impact the team’s offensive efficiency. His chemistry with explosive playmakers like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will be instrumental in elevating the offense to new heights.

Predicted Record: 11-6

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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