By Marc Cox – Miami Dolphins Writer
Writing previews for the Miami Dolphins schedule is currently casting your humble correspondent as a hostage to fortune. Do you talk about the one elite player on the O-Line? Sorry, he plays for the Texans now. Maybe you’d like to focus on a second-year player, who the coaches want to play all over the field such is his high football IQ and versatility? Sorry, he plays for the Steelers now. Perhaps you’d like to focus on a player who was an instrumental part of last year’s Miami Miracle? Sorry, Gronk has retired now.
Kenyan Drake (the other guy in the Miami Miracle) is the latest name to surface about a trade as the Dolphins seek to acquire all 32 picks in the 2020 draft. Underused in the first couple of weeks, any whisper of unhappiness in the locker room is now a credible trade rumor and Drake is the latest name doing the rounds.
It’s now clear that the Miami front office was deadly serious when they declared this year a ‘rebuild’. The first two weeks of the schedule presented the Phins with two teams bound for the play-offs in which they suffered not one but TWO blow-out defeats, and now in the third week, it brings them to ***checks notes*** our #3 team in the power rankings – the Dallas Cowboys.
Any given Sunday… The league is set up for parity where you have to earn every win. All that stuff about the NFL and how great it is? That doesn’t apply to Miami this year. The Dolphins head out on the road for what is likely to be their third blow out loss in as many weeks.
So, we take a leaf out of the modern-day coaches manual and look for the positives.
Maybe they try and lose by fewer than 40 points, and improve on the missed tackles from Week 1’s 11.
When Josh Rosen comes into the game on a hiding to nothing, maybe try and prevent him from being sacked on his first snap of the game. It’s the little things, it really is. Although, given he has been awarded the starting QB job this week that may not now just in garbage time but throughout the course of the whole game. Tough as I know but still, we’re looking for positive change here.
These lofty ambitions for the Dolphins offense are tempered by the news that their former Defensive End, Robert Quinn will be back for week 3. Quinn was something of a disappointment last year in Aqua with 6.5 sacks to his name. He’ll be looking to get a strong start on Sunday to get 2019 rolling and perhaps prove a point to his former employees.
Quinn, possibly unfairly, is emblematic of why Miami find themselves in this situation. Big money, flashy free agency signing, who flatters deceive – that’s been the Miami Mediocrity Model for two decades. True or not, that won’t matter to Quinn when he is charging unopposed into ”Chosen Rosen”.
As for the Cowboys, they are making all the right noises to guard against complacency and have a few injury worries. However, if you think that there is a possibility of an upset on the cards, perhaps you’d like to have a small flutter on the spread which is just the 21.5 points at the time of writing.
Somehow, that’s not the widest spread of the weekend with the Jets @ the Patriots being bigger underdogs. If that doesn’t float your outsider boat, how about Miami as this year’s Super Bowl winners which you can have at 20,000-1. There will be more on this as the season progresses but we can now count Vegas oddsmakers as the latest complainers about the rebuild as it becomes too difficult to offer decent prices on this team.
When people are sympathetic to Vegas bookmakers, you know something unprecedented is happening.
We head to the third weekend of a season that is living up to its billing as ‘tough’. I’ll be doing what all Miami fans will be doing this weekend; watching Alabama take on Southern Miss, watching Tua Tagovailoa with one question in mind. Is this guy worth all this?
Prediction: I’m an optimist, so I am going with a… 37-7 win for the Cowboys.