On September 3rd 2015, the Miami Dolphins looked poised to win the AFC East for the first time since 2008. They landed the biggest name in free agency, Ndamukong Suh. They had a talented, young quarterback and a deep group of wide receivers. They had Lamar Miller running the ball, and Brent Grimes shutting down wide outs.
They had all of this on top of the fact that Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games. How could they not be the team to beat in the AFC East?
Fast-forward 33 days. The Dolphins are in last place in the AFC East at 1-3. Suh hasn’t recorded a single sack and is averaging 2.5 tackles a game. Ryan Tannehill has career lows in completion percentage, average yards per attempt, and QBR. Tannehill is on pace to have 20 interceptions and 16 fumbles. Miller is averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has yet to score a touchdown. Brent Grimes might be the only Dolphin star player that is earning his paycheck.
To make matters worse, Tom Brady wasn’t suspended and has led the Patriots to a 4-0 start.
As you know, the Dolphins have fired head coach, Joe Philbin, and defensive coordinator, Kevin Coyle. What nobody knows is where this leaves the Miami Dolphins moving forward.
The Phins have the hardest strength of schedule out of AFC East teams. They already lost to the Jets and Bills at home, so they need to steal the away games. They also have two games against the ever-hated Patriots. This will not be an easy task, but the Dolphins are not out of the playoffs yet.
It isn’t all doom and gloom in South Beach, however.
Interim head coach, Dan Campbell, has already tried to give this Dolphins team a fresh start. When the players came back after the bye week, they noticed their lockers had been rearranged. Under coach Philbin, the players were randomly assigned lockers. Campbell rearranged the lockers by position groups.
This might not seem like a significant change, but it is an important one. Campbell needs to let these players know that this is his team, and the locker change was the first step. It has been reported since the coaching change that the team has shown more energy in practice.
If the Miami Dolphins are serious about moving forward, they need to win the next two games against Tennessee and Houston before heading to Foxboro.