Dolphins left off list of teams with ‘real’ chance to win Super Bowl

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The Miami Dolphins haven’t experienced Super Bowl glory in nearly 50 years — the Dolphins were last champions of the world in 1972 and 1973. That rapid ascension to the top of the mountain coincided with the arrival of head coach Don Shula in South Florida, who would then go on to coach the Dolphins to two more Super Bowl appearances in the next 10 years after that. Miami would lose both, however and has not been back to the big game since.

So while the Dolphins’ fight song states that when you say Miami, you’re talking Super Bowl, it is understandable for some skepticism for the 2021 season and Miami’s odds.

Just ask Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr, who put together a list of the 12 teams that have a ‘real’ chance to win the Super Bowl this season. He left the Dolphins off all together.

Ouch. Sure, Miami hasn’t won a playoff game since 2000 and has only qualified for the playoffs a handful of times over that same timeframe. It’s been a painful chapter of existence for Miami fans everywhere. But the Dolphins were one of the NFL’s most disciplined teams in 2020, they boast a young nucleus of talent that could easily see a major leap in the quality of play in seemingly countless individuals. They’ve overachieved expectations for two straight seasons and are expected to contend for the postseason in Year 3 under Brian Flores.

Orr’s list includes plenty of the usual suspects. Each of the conference game participants from last season all make appearances. But if the depths of the list are going to include the Dallas Cowboys, with a woefully bad defensive depth chart and the Los Angeles Chargers? Then we’d respectfully disagree that Miami doesn’t own a spot on the list.

Of Orr’s 12 teams, the Dolphins beat 25% of them last season. And lost to another three teams in three separate games by a combined 17 points. Are the Dolphins a probable Super Bowl contender? Likely not this year. But be sure to keep them on the expanded shortlist nonetheless.