The Miami Dolphins are not only one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, but they are also one of the best stories of the 2018 season. They are currently 8-4 on the season, and they are playing their best football of the year. They are leading the AFC East, and they are tied for first place with the Patriots in the AFC. This is largely thanks to their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
I’m not sure what’s more surprising about the Dolphins’ 37-27 loss to the Patriots on Monday night: the fact that they lost, or that I watched it. It’s not that I disagree with the idea that the Dolphins are a team that has the tools to knock off New England in a playoff game. The Dolphins have a talented roster that can beat New England, and a good coaching staff that can help the team maximize its ability. It’s just that I don’t think any of that matters when it comes to the AFC wildcard round. The Patriots aren’t going to go out and lose a playoff game against a quality team, and Sunday’s loss could signal a postseason swoon. If the Dolphins want to knock off the Patriots
I was feeling pretty optimistic about the Miami Dolphins’ chances against the New England Patriots when the final scores came in. My reasoning was rooted in the fact that I thought the Patriots defense was ripe for the picking, but I felt that with the right preparation, the Dolphins could find the end zone at least once in the game. I even was feeling confident that it would be through the air, with the Patriots secondary being demonstrably weaker than the one in New England. I was wrong. The Dolphins struggled to move the ball on offense, turning the ball over twice, which led to two touchdowns for New England. The Patriots have the best defense in the NFL, so it’s no secret that any offense will struggle when facing them. But the Dolphins were
Tua Tagovailoa begins the 2021 season with a lot riding on his shoulders after a rookie season in which he was benched twice for Ryan Fitzpatrick. After all, the Miami Dolphins won’t reach the playoffs unless the southpaw quarterback improves significantly in his second season with the club.
While Tagovailoa may prove his critics wrong by the end of the year, he may struggle badly on the first NFL Sunday of 2021.
The Dolphins just received a surprise setback to their hopes of beating Bill Belichick and Mac Jones in Week 1 with a game against a rebuilt New England Patriots team on the horizon.
Both New England and Miami have a chance to make the playoffs in 2021.
In his Inaugural 2021 NFL Tiers,[email protected] goes down all 32 clubs!
Chiefs win by a score of 20-0? Packers and Browns are the No. 1 contenders. Rams, 49ers, and Buccaneers are genuine contenders. Ravens, Seahawks, Bills, and Titans are among the contenders. Cowboys, Chargers, Dolphins, Falcons, and Patriots are the new playoff teams. pic.twitter.com/ZfCrZzY9xn
September 1, 2021 — First Things First (@FTFonFS1)
The Dolphins have a good chance of making it to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Tua Tagovailoa leads an offense that has talented rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle, agile tight end Mike Geisecki, and experienced pass-catchers DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Albert Wilson. The Dolphins will depend on their dominating cornerback combination of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to shut down opposing quarterbacks on the opposite side of the ball. Flores also has a young, promising front seven that includes Christian Wilkins and Jaelen Phillips, as well as 2020 second-rounder Raekwon Davis and highly-paid linebacker Jerome Baker.
Of course, the Dolphins will face the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots, both of which have strong rosters. While the defending division champs seem to be on the verge of making another long playoff run, the Patriots must first address a few issues.
Will Mac Jones be able to remain healthy and play at a high level as a rookie?
Is there a sufficient number of weapons on the offense?
Will Stephon Gilmore’s absence cause the defense to regress?
The Dolphins will play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and Bill Belichick’s roster-building abilities will be put to the test. Fortunately for the famous coach and his new starting quarterback, Tagovailoa and his squad just experienced an unforeseen setback that may help New England start the season off on the right foot.
Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins have just been dealt an unexpected setback in their quest to beat Bill Belichick and Mac Jones.
Tua Tagovailoa’s hopes of defeating Bill Belichick and Mac Jones have taken an unexpected blow with his left tackle possibly out against the Patriots. | Getty Images/Mitchell Leff | Getty Images/Michael Reaves
The Dolphins’ hopes of delivering Belichick and Jones a season-opening defeat were dealt an unexpected blow on Monday. Austin Jackson, the starting left tackle, has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The 2020 first-round selection may miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots, depending on his immunization status and subsequent test results.
With Jackson’s availability uncertain, Tagovailoa’s chances of defeating his college teammate do not seem good. Unfortunately for the second-year quarterback, the Dolphins’ most serious flaw (their offensive line) may be exposed at Foxborough. The Patriots’ front seven, which features high-priced free agent Matt Judon, battle-tested linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, and recent early-round draft choices Josh Uche and Christian Barmore, should be able to consistently control the line of scrimmage and create pressure.
Even with Jackson in the lineup, Miami didn’t seem to be in good condition. After all, the club just acquired Greg Little, a second-round pick in 2019 who struggled with the Carolina Panthers. Jackson, at the very least, has a first-round pedigree and is acquainted with the system. If Tagovailoa is unable to play on Sunday, he will be placed in the difficult situation of having to rely on a new starting left tackle to protect him against a defense with top-five potential.
Belichick should be planning methods to confuse and disturb a quarterback who is still a long way from earning the title of “franchise quarterback.” In the end, the Patriots seem to be prepared to take advantage of a huge mismatch and defeat a familiar opponent.
In his debut season with the Patriots, don’t be shocked if Jones outperforms his old teammate.
The Dolphins and Patriots, ironically, both gambled heavily on Alabama quarterbacks. However, given all of the circumstances, the former Crimson Tide player who seems to have the best chance of succeeding in 2021 does not reside in Miami.
Despite his inexperience, Jones seems capable of outperforming Tagovailoa right away. He has exceptional intellect and processing speed, as well as exceptional precision and touch while throwing the ball. With Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne, Belichick spent an unprecedented amount of money in free agency to acquire proven pass catchers. The Patriots also boast a top-five offensive line, an outstanding stable of running backs, and Josh McDaniels, one of the best coaches in the league.
During training camp and the preseason, Jones showed a lot of composure for a first-year player. And he obviously made enough improvement to persuade Belichick to fire Cam Newton and replace him with a rookie quarterback.
What about Tagovailoa?
While he has enough weapons at his disposal, his offensive line is riddled with holes. The running game doesn’t have a lot of potential. Outside of Howard, Jones, and Baker, the defense doesn’t have many proven high-end starters.
Is it possible for Miami to reach the playoffs?
Certainly, there’s a possibility.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have the components in place to reclaim first position in the division, ahead of the Dolphins.
Only time will tell whether Bill Belichick and Mac Jones are capable of dethroning the Bills.
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