The Miami Dolphins are coming off a second straight 8-8 campaign that left them out of the playoff picture. The were in the hunt with a 7-5 record after 12 games, but a 1-3 finish that included home losses to the Ravens and Jets done them in.

The Dolphins have been stuck in neutral, winning between 6 and 8 games each of the last 5 years. They are hoping that run will come to an end in 2015. Miami opened up the checkbook this offseason and signed the biggest free agent on the market in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Given the money spent and the fact that they have been close the past couple of years, the pressure will be on head coach Joe Philbin to get this team over the hump and back in the playoffs.

Last Season
AFC East
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
2015 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
DeVante Parker (WR), Jordan Phillips (NT), Jamil Douglas (OG), Bobby McCain (CB), Jay Ajayi (RB), Cedric Thompson (FS), Tony Lippett (WR)
Ndamukong Suh (DT), Jordan Cameron (TE), Kenny Stills (WR), Greg Jennings (WR), Spencer Paysinger (OLB), Zack Bowman (CB), J.D. Walton (C), Brice McCain (CB), Josh Freeman (QB)
Mike Wallace (WR), Dannell Ellerbe (ILB), Randy Starks (DT), Charles Clay (TE), Jared Odrick (DT), Brian Hartline (WR), Cortland Finnegan (CB), Philip Wheeler (OLB), Knowshon Moreno (RB), Samson Satele (C), Shelley Smith (OG), Brandon Gibson (WR), Jonathan Freeny (LB), Jason Trusnik (MLB), Jimmy Wilson (SS), Daryn Colledge (OG), A.J. Francis (DT), Nate Garner (OG), Jordan Kovacs (DB), Kelvin Sheppard (MLB)
2015 Schedule & Odds
Week Opponent Spread Win Chance
1 @ Redskins -2 0.53
2 @ Jaguars -4 0.66
3 Bills -2 0.53
4 Jets -3.5 0.64
6 @ Titans -3 0.59
7 Texans -3 0.59
8 @ Patriots +5.5 0.31
9 @ Bills +2 0.47
10 @ Eagles +3.5 0.36
11 Cowboys -1 0.51
12 @ Jets -1.5 0.53
13 Ravens PK 0.50
14 Giants -3 0.59
15 @ Chargers +3 0.41
16 Colts PK 0.50
17 Patriots +1 0.49
Estimated Wins: 8.21
Roster Breakdown

Last year the Dolphins quietly had a very productive offense. Miami finished in the top half of the league in both total offense (350.1 ypg, 14th) and scoring offense (24.2 ppg, 11th). There’s hope that this unit can take an even bigger step in 2015, as 4th-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill continues to improve with each season of experience. Tannehill set new career-highs in completion percentage (66.4%), passing yards (4,045) and touchdowns (27).

A promising sign for Tannehill taking another step forward is what looks like a much stronger receiving corps. Last year Tannehill had to rely heavily on rookie Jarvis Landry, who ended up posting a team-high 84 receptions with 758 yards and 5 touchdowns. While they parted way with Mike Wallace, who just never seemed to fit in, they traded for Kenny Stills from New Orleans, signed free agent tight end Jordan Cameron from Cleveland and used their 1st round pick on Louisville wide out DeVante Parker. They also added veteran Greg Jennings to help mentor the young receivers.

The running game will feature Lamar Miller, who has shown flashes of potential and could be in line for a breakout season. Miller finished with a team-high 1,099 yards and 8 touchdowns to go with a strong 5.1 yards/carry, despite playing behind a sub-par offensive line that was hit hard with injuries.

Their two best offensive linemen, left tackle Brandon Albert and center Mike Pouncey both missed significant time. If both can stay healthy, Miller should put up big numbers. The Dolphins also have a solid right tackle in Ja’Waun James and promising young right guard in Billy Turner, but need to find an upgrade over left guard Dallas Thomas. The hope is that 4th round rookie Jamil Douglas can overtake Thomas sooner rather than later.

While there’s reason to be optimistic about the potential of the offense, the real excitement comes on the defensive side of the ball. Miami has every reason to believe they will be significantly better than last year, which saw them rank a respectable 12th in total defense (343.4 ypg), but just 20th in scoring defense (23.3 ppg).

That excitement has everything to do with Suh, who is not only makes plays on his own, but makes everyone else around him better. Forget the personality, this guy gets it done on the field. Suh will be the focal point of what could be one of the league’s best defensive lines. Defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon combined for 18 sacks last year and should see that number rise. Fellow defensive tackle Earl Mitchell figures to benefit the most playing next to Suh, though he could end up losing his spot to 2nd round rookie Jordan Phillips.

The amount of attention that opposing offensive lines will have to pay to the front 4, should also help what looks to be a sub-par linebacker corps. Miami does have a quality player in outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, but middle linebacker Koa Misi is only good on 1st and 2nd down and it’s unclear who will end up winning the other starting outside linebacker spot.

The secondary has a trio of quality players in corner Brent Grimes and the safety duo of Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas. The only question mark is who will start at the other corner spot for the departed Cortland Finnegan. Miami added free agent Brice McCain out of Pittsburgh and used a 5th round pick on Memphis’ Bobby McCain and still have high hopes for 3rd-year corner Jamar Taylor.

Future Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the AFC
to Win Super Bowl L
35 to 2
44 to 1
Odds Courtesty of 5Dimes

With the AFC East still figuring to belong to the New England Patriots, who have won it 12 of the last 14 years, Miami’s best chance at making the playoffs will be as a Wild Card. It’s certainly not out the question, but it will likely take a 10-6 season to reach that mark. The biggest key will be holding off the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills inside the AFC East.

I think there’s a good chance that at least 1 of the Wild Card representatives comes from this division. While the Bills are the popular pick with their hiring of Rex Ryan and adding in LeSean McCoy, I’m taking the Dolphins to be the team that emerges. The Bills may be slightly better defensively, but are not near as strong offensively. I have Miami going 10-6 and easily eclipsing their Vegas win total of 8.

AFC East Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Dolphins 10-Year Recap
Year W L Playoffs Coach Win Total
2014 8 8 Philbin 8
2013 8 8 Philbin 8
2012 7 9 Philbin 7
2011 6 10 Sparano/Bowles 7.5
2010 7 9 Sparano 8.5
2009 7 9 Sparano 7
2008 11 5 Lost WC Sparano 5.5
2007 1 15 Cameron 7
2006 6 10 Saban 9
2005 9 7 Saban 5.5

Andy Eisch

Andy Eisch

OVER 8 Wins – I give the Dolphins around nine or ten wins for a few reasons. Their defense is an obvious improvement over last season. Secondly, Ryan Tannehill had a terrific season last season, and is poised for a breakout with new receivers. Lamar Miller had his first 1,000 yard + season last year, and has added weight and still has his speed, he looks to be a hard runner in 2015. All of this together just doesn’t look like an 8 win team.

James McKinney

James McKinney

OVER 8 Wins – The Dolphins coming are off of back-to-back-to-back 8-8 seasons and are set to take a step forward. Between the addition of WR’s that better fit the game of starting and rapidly maturing QB Ryan Tannehill coupled with the addition of Ndamukong Suh, helping the team address one of its most glaring weakness’, stopping the run, should easily translate in to an additional win or two over 2014.

Patrick Tarell

Patrick Tarell

OVER 8 Wins – The Dolphins may surprise some folks this year. Tannehill’s career will come into focus. He has the cash and I think with Jeff Ireland gone the Dolphins are finally Joe Philbin’s team as well. The weapons are there on offense, Ndomukong Suh is there on defense and this team is about to bust out. I’m going 11-5.


Bitchin Dave

OVER 8 Wins – Certainly, Vegas is in the position of trying to make money on both sides. And a .500 speaks to the fact that no one can really say if this team is going to be good or bad. History hasn’t been kind to the Dolphins over the last decade or so, with one playoff appearance, and a lot of .500 records. Coach Philbin is hard to figure out. He’s not firey or dynamic, and doesn’t appear to have complete command of the locker room, though players have really nothing bad to say about him.

You have QB Ryan Tannehill who is perhaps average or a little above. The troubling thing is that he has not yet managed to have the team ride on his back to a signature victory. You’d kind of hope to see that sometime early in his career.

Meanwhile, the owner made a comment that he wasn’t going to change anything as far as coaches this season – he wanted consistency, he said. And then nearly half of the starters turned over in free agency. The Dolphins got the biggest name in the offseason in Suh, but you have to wonder if they went for the splash – or if they actually improved. It wasn’t a need especially. There was a published report that indicates that most teams that teams who make that big splash typically only improve by one game.

In summary, the team is a bit of an enigma. They’re hard to read. So 8-8 doesn’t seem so far fetched. Its likely to be “more of the same” for this team. Though, I have to admit that if I were to take a bet, I might take the over, thinking that 9 wins is within reach.

Curt Fennell

Curt Fennell

OVER 8 Wins – The Dolphins should win 10 games this season, but there are more than a few questions about this team, so I don’t think we’re looking at a championship yet.

The offensive guard spot is a mess right now on both sides of center. Otherwise, the offense is in good shape and should be strong.

The defensive line will be one of the best in the league with the addition of Suh, but the linebacking corps and the right cornerback spot are unsettled at this point.

But the biggest question is: can Joe Philbin get his players to play their best when the games are most important? He has not shown the ability to get the most out of his team when it really matters and the end of the season slides the last two years have been the result.

Brian Miller

Brian Miller

The Miami Dolphins could very well be staring at 10-6 season or they could just as easily fail to reach .500. It’s all dependent on the start. Miami plays five of their first seven games away from Sun-Life Stadium but they also play the weakest part of their schedule. A fast start could and should ready the team for a stretch run. The latter half of the schedule is their toughest but most of those games will be played at home. It sets up an opportunity for a playoff run late in the year. It all depends on what they do in the first half. As Ryan Tannehill continues to grow the Dolphins very well may see their first playoff appearance since 2008. If they don’t, Joe Philbin may be looking for another job.

Carl Leone Pic

Carl Leone

OVER 8 Wins – Before we begin to look at wins and losses, lets take a look at the schedule. The most glaring aspect is that we play only 2 home games in Miami the first 10 weeks of the season: Week 3 against Buffalo and then Week 7 against Tennessee. We are actually a very good road team, so I am optimistic.

We open with two very winnable road games at Washington and then at Jacksonville so we should be 2-0 heading home against the Bills. As most predictions have us splitting all the AFC East games, I see us going to 3-0 here.

Next we fly to London to host the Jets. I know from personal experience that playing the Jets at home late in the season turns into a Jets Fan Fest in Miami. There are enough New York transplants down there to begin with and then adding in the “get out of the cold” weekend warriors who fly down for a few days only multiplies the obnoxiousness by 20. So playing our home game against them in London is actually a benefit in my eyes and we have the better team to boot. So 4-0 start before the early bye seems realistic.

After the Bye, we go to Tennessee. 5-0.

Now the season really starts. We host the Texans, who, believe it or not we have never beaten and that goes back to their very first game in their franchise history at Miami no less. Ouch. I see us winning here too and getting off to a 6-0 start in a hard fought game.

Week 8 we fly up to NE to face the Pats on a Thursday night. Brady is batting .500 against us and with them at home at night and probably wanting to make a National Statement about “Who the hell do these Miami Dolphins think the are?”, I can see them kicking our asses. 6-1.

Oh boy, off to Buffalo in another dogfight. This will not be an easy win for either of us but lets give Buffalo the slight home field advantage even though I think we can win this game. 6-2.

Gee wizards, we are still on the road and tired too after two emotional road division games and Philly just runs us off the track. 6-3.

Hello Miami. A home game couldn’t come fast enough. 5 out of the last 7 games will be in SunLife Stadium. And we spank he Cowboys as Romo doesn’t get comfortable in his new found surroundings. 7-3.

J-E-T-S….Suck, Suck, Suck!!! Even in the Meadowlands that cheer will fill the air as the DolfansNYC buys up 3 connecting sections in the upper deck and helps turn the tide as Miami ends the Jets season and goes to 8-3.

Pay back is a bitch. Ask the Ravens as they leave Miami and we go to 9-3 and fighting the Pats for the AFC East as well as a Bye in the playoffs.

Now, we got to play Manning on a Monday Night. At least its at home. Oh wait, not Peyton but Eli. Oh that’s different. Monday Night in Miami for Alumni Weekend during our 50th Anniversary Season!!! I would not want to be a Giants fan that night. 10-3.

Long flight across the country after a very emotional night game. Going to the Chargers after we annihilated them last year at our place. Did I mention pay back is a bitch? All Philbin can say after this one is “The plane leaves in an hour, be on it.” 10-4.

OK the final stretch against two very, very good QBs. Andrew Luck and Tom “Where is my ball pin?” Brady.

This is so easy to just say 10-6. Great season but wait. Andrew Luck is 0-2 against the Phins and both were in Indy. How about that? Didn’t see that coming, did you? Now most teams enjoy coming to Miami in December. Bring the wives, the kids, the sunscreen. But Indy plays in a dome, so if anything, they lose a great weather advantage and actually have to play outside on grass. 11-4.

Now whether this final game will determine the AFC East Championship or not, I do not know. Will NE already have clinched regardless of this game’s outcome may not matter as they will probably need it for a BYE anyway. I gotta ask you: Hasn’t the world turned enough in the past 14 years? Hasn’t the sun come up on NE long enough? I believe the worm is turning and the Dolphins have finally taken advantage and taken back the AFC East.

Let me be the first to say, we go 12-4!

And here is why: Tannehill has grown leaps and bounds and we have a running game too. Miami was one of only three teams last year, joining the Steelers and Packers, as teams with not only a 1000 yard rusher but also a 4000 yard passer. You didn’t know that did you?

Our defense was tough enough last year, but after watching the first team unit in preseason, they are ridiculously good now having given up only 3 points in 3 games. Our D Line is so deep and talented. They have made a fiasco out other team offenses. I kid you not.

The only concern I have is keeping the O Line and LB units healthy. If they avoid major injury we can go 12-4 and win the AFC East.

I actually expect it.

More NFL Predictions