With the AFC East crown the most open it has been for many years, many are picking the 2020 Dolphins to make a run for the number one spot. From the drafting of Alabama standout Tua Tagovailoa to the signing of cornerback Byron Jones, the Dolphins offseason has been one of success.
Head Coach Brian Flores has somehow elevated himself even higher than he was after the monumental five-win season of last year, by leading from the front in the fight for racial equality in a turbulent offseason.
All-in-all it’s been a very successful period for Miami. But are the 2020 Dolphins really equipped to make a run for their first AFC East title since 2008? Vegas has the Dolphins as their win total pegged as over/under 6.5 games, so let’s breakdown the season and see where we end up.
With the 2020 season set to be majorly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll be basing our predictions on Ryan Fitzpatrick remaining as the starter for the opening games.
2020 Dolphins off to a decent start
Week 1 in New England is a tricky proposition, even in the post-Tom Brady era. Bill Belichick will have new quarterback Jarrett Stidham primed for success, and Although this will be a hard-fought game I see the Patriots winning on home turf. 0-1
The Bills come to Miami in week two, and the beefing of the defensive line, and the additions of Byron Jones, and rookie Noah Igbinoghene will be enough to defeat erratic scatter-gun thrower Josh Allen and the Bills. 1-1
A trip north to Jacksonville sees the fins move into winning territory as the absolute train-wreck of a franchise can not match the 2020 Dolphins. Having pinned their colours to the Gardner Minshew show, Jacksonville may have already won the Tank for Trevor roadshow. 2-1
The visit of the Seahawks in week four will be a good measure of where this team are in the grand scheme of things. With the Seahawks on the cusp of the playoffs in 2019, Russell Wilson will be looking to build off last year, and will be too much for the upstart Dolphins. 2-2
At 2-2 one of the last things you would want is to travel full across the country to take on last years Super Bowl runners up. If the Dolphins can make Jimmy Garoppolo have to win the game with his arm then they have a great chance. Unfortunately I think the 49ers are too much at this point in the process. 2-3
A second long trip in a row sees the Dolphins taking on the massively over hyped Broncos. Is Drew Lock for real? Does Melvin Gordon push them over the edge? Can they keep their defense fresh enough to make a difference? That’s at least two no’s from me. Dolphins win. 3-3
A potential meeting of the number five and six picks from this years draft, see’s both still on the bench in my predictions. However, the 2020 Dolphins beat down of Tyrod Taylor moves the Chargers to the brink of starting Herbert. 4-3
We reach the half-way point with a tough one to call against the LA Rams in Miami. This game really could go either way, with the Rams a bit of a mess thanks to overpaying on contracts, and a quarterback that’s really not as good as the hype. But I think they are slightly too much. 4-4
Kyler Murray’s Cardinals host the 2020 Dolphins next, and with the talent they have amassed around him with DeAndre Hopkins added this offseason, I see the Cardinals as a potential playoff team in 2020 and sadly it’s another loss. 4-5
Adam Gase comes to Miami clinging to his job in New York, and while I see the Jets being better than they were last season, Miami still stomp on them. 5-5
2020 Dolphins playoff push?
Entering the bye-week at 5-5 the Dolphins likely need 4 wins to sneak into the expanded playoff picture. And things start off well with another win over the Jets. Likely the final nail in Adam Gase’s Jets tenure, which will likely upset no Dolphins fans. At all. 6-5
The Bengals and number one overall pick Joe Burrow come to Miami in week 13 with Tua Tagovailoa still riding the bench as Fitzpatrick shows experience counts for something and puts the Bengals on their butts. 7-5
The second game of a three-game homestand is against the Chiefs, and there’s really not too much I need to say about this I think. 7-6
The Patriots come to town for they’re almost annual beat-down on the beach. And once again the 2020 Dolphins do not disappoint. I do expect Stidham to be a decent NFL quarterback, unfortunately, but this is not the time for his first Miami win. 8-6.
We’ve been here before, just win one of the last two games and it’s a playoff berth for only the second time since 2008.
However, I do see the wheels coming off slightly for Ryan Fitzpatrick as road-trips to Las Vegas and Buffalo really don’t go too well. The Raiders are a young team that are definitely on the up, and they will love the move to Vegas, at least in the early years. 8-7
Buffalo also has a young core, and despite the fact I think Josh Allen is massively overrated and can’t hit a wide-open receiver with a giant magnet and a gravity field assist, they squeak out the win and send the Dolphins back to even. 8-8
However, not all is lost. With the expanded playoffs coming in this season there’s a chance, just a small one that the 2020 Dolphins will sneak into the playoffs at 8-8.
I know this all sounds very familiar, and we’re back to middle-of-the-road 8-8 hell again. But we’re really not. With a young core, a fiery, passionate young coach, and a franchise quarterback taking over in 2021 this is actually the year when we finally understand that we’re back.