With all 32 NFL teams in the middle of their offseason programs, there’s a lot of projecting going on for the upcoming regular season and the postseason that will follow.
Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr recently released his 100 bold predictions for 2023, and a few of them involve the Miami Dolphins. The prediction that should intrigue the fan base is that Mike McDaniel’s team will fail to make it to the playoffs.
“Five teams that made the playoffs last year will miss the postseason this year. The Buccaneers, Dolphins, Giants, Seahawks and Vikings will all be on the outside looking in.”
This comes after Orr made a rather bold claim, saying that the New England Patriots will win the AFC East.
“The Patriots will win the AFC East. Bill O’Brien is back and carrying a new bag of tricks from his Alabama getaway. This offense can sensibly grind out games behind a brilliant defense. You’ll ask: But what about the Dolphins, Jets and Bills? My thought is that this division may end up collapsing in on itself a little bit. There are a lot of heavyweight punchers here, each of which have some very talented but fatal flaws. The Dolphins, for example, are going to have a tough time not burning themselves out. The Bills are dependent on reinventing themselves around an intentionally less mobile Josh Allen. The Jets’ title hopes rest on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers, who may be great and newly motivated. He is also flirting with age 40 and may be starting to show it.”
The reasoning for the Dolphins not winning the division is questionable. What does that even mean? Is it because they’re going to play with so much speed and intensity that they set themselves up for exhaustion and injuries? It’s not clear.
The point of the post is to be bold, and this prediction certainly accomplishes that. However, it likely won’t be burnout that keeps Miami from achieving their goals. Instead, it will be either more injuries to Tua Tagovailoa, causing Mike White or Skylar Thomspon to be thrust into starting, or poor offensive line play that limits what the offense can do.
An interesting little nugget that Orr includes as well is that Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith will be in the mix for a head coach job next season. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this, as he was apparently considered a candidate earlier in this offseason.