A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about why the Dolphins will make the playoffs. It was summer, nothing was going on, and between hours of Madden and vintage Dolphins YouTube clips, this irrational belief in the 2014 Miami Dolphins came over me. I started to believe that all the baggage the Dolphins have carried over this past decade will disappear in 2014. I started to suppose every risk the team has taken this off season will become a reward. I started to think that it is finally the Dolphin’s turn to become a Miami fan’s top priority. I started to scare myself.
That belief is gone. I don’t know if it is because of watching the Dolphins in preseason or deciding that now that I have to go back to school I am going to be negative about everything in life. Whatever it is, I don’t have the same conviction in this team to make the playoffs as I once did. Here are a couple of thoughts that went through my head.
1. The NFL is Unpredictable
What’s a better way to start off a clichéd article than with a clichéd headline? But there is no other way to put it. Teams come out of nowhere every year in the NFL. There are a dozen teams who missed the playoffs last year and whose fan’s think they will make it this year. NFL rosters, more than any other sport, has such huge turnover year to year to the point where it is impossible to judge how good a team is with the new players. Sure, Dolphins fans are cautiously optimistic about there chances this year-so is the majority of the NFL.
People believe the Dolphins will end up like the Chiefs or Chargers from last year- a team with new personnel who wildly overachieve to make the playoffs. There are also the Texans, Ravens, Giants, Lions, and Falcons- teams assumed to make the playoffs before the season that completely under performed. So as much as everyone is hoping that everything could go right for the Dolphins, it is just as likely that everything will go wrong.
2. Dolphin’s History
Everything seems a little too perfect right now for the Dolphins: Playing pretty well in the preseason, Ryan Tannehill making big strides, Joe Philbin finally has his preferred roster, Jeff Ireland is finally, finally, finally, gone, huge offseason acquisitions, and the Heat taking a massive step back. Knowing the Dolphins history like I do, when something like this happens- all the stars line into place- the team tends to disappoint…. massively. It just seems like this is going to be another one of those Dolphins seasons were nothing quite comes together like it should have and fans are left at square one. You know, like basically every season over the past 20 years.
Now if this were the Colts, Patriots, Steelers, or a team like that I would say we are looking at a playoff team. But they aren’t. They are the Dolphins. They still wear turquoise uniform and a white helmet with a Dolphin on the side. It really doesn’t make any sense, right? Picking against a team because of the uniform they wear. It’s not like anyone that was apart of the team 20 years ago is still around. But would you think differently about this team if the exact same players were wearing Steeler colors? Yeah I thought so.
3. Dependent Upon New Players
Why are you excited about the 2014 Miami Dolphins? The new players. The roster is filled with guys who should perfectly patch up the holes in the broken 2013 team. It makes a lot of sense on paper. Again, sounding good on paper means just about nothing in this league. The NFL is filled with talented teams that sound good on paper that do nothing. How many times have you been excited about a Dolphins team that sounded good on paper but was the reason you were incoherently drunk by the fourth quarter?
Brandon Albert, Ju’wuan James, Louis Delmas, Knowshon Moreno and Jarvis Landry. You get excited when you hear those names. They all are going to be great this year for Dolphins and propel the team to the playoffs. Now think back a summer. What if I ran past you a couple of names in August of 2013: Dannell Ellerbe, Dustin Keller, Mike Wallace, and Dion Jordan. Wow, you were excited about them before the season and were massively disappointing last year.
Sorry I just ruined your morning.