3 Reasons Why The Dolphins Have The Worst Playoff Odds
They'll need a dose of Fitzmagic to make the postseason with this squad
After finishing 7-9 in 2018, the Miami Dolphins have made wholesale changes this offseason heading into the new season.
Brian Flores, formerly a defensive coordinator AFC East foe New England Patriots, has replaced Adam Gase as the new head coach, while two new quarterbacks aim to lead the team under its new regime.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and second-year signal-caller Josh Rosen have been added to the fold for the Fins, with Ryan Tannehill no longer with the team after seven years in South Beach.
Heading into the 2019 campaign, the Dolphins currently have +1200 odds (DraftKings) to make the NFL Playoffs, the worst of any team. Here’s a closer look at why the Dolphins won’t be in the mix to make the playoffs this year.
3. Recent Struggles
Over the last decade, the Dolphins have made the playoffs just once. More importantly, the team has only posted a record of 8-8 or better in three of those seasons.
That statistic alone doesn’t quality the Dolphins as the worst team in the NFL. However, the team’s past struggles certainly factor into the current state of the franchise. The 2018 Dolphins season was full of ups and downs, and despite beginning the season 3-0, the Fins ultimately finished with a losing record for the 10th time since 2000.
In a division with the six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, improved New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, 2019 is already an uphill climb for Flores and the Dolphins.
2. A Rookie Head Coach
First-time NFL coaches have proven their worth, especially in recent seasons where offensive-minded gurus like Doug Pederson and Sean McVay have led their teams to the championship game, and in Pederson’s case a Super Bowl victory.
The biggest resume-booster Flores has going for him is the fact that he spent over a decade working with Bill Belichick and the Patriots -- the most successful NFL dynasty of over the last 20-plus years.
However, Belichick’s disciples haven’t lived up to the hype once they have been presented the opportunity to lead a franchise of their own.
Bill O’Brien has proven to be the best to this point in his career, however, his 31-34 record still falls below .500. Previous Belichick assistants like Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia also have losing records as head coaches in their respective tenures.
1. Uncertainty at Quarterback
The Dolphins aren’t in a terrible spot when it comes to the quarterback position, but they do have a tough decision to make before the season even kicks off. Rosen has the potential to be the quarterback of the future, but that doesn’t mean the Dolphins won’t give Fitzpatrick the keys early on in an attempt to keep the AFC East squad competitive.
The 36-year-old Fitzpatrick is coming off one of his more productive seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for 17 touchdowns and completing 66.7 percent of his throws.
Despite starting the season hot, Fitzpatrick lost some steam as the season went on and lost the starting job to Jameis Winston. With Fitzpatrick now on his eighth NFL team, it’s quite clear that his best years are behind him.
Meanwhile, Rosen, who spent one season with the Arizona Cardinals after being drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, finds himself in a tough position early in his career. He’s already been forced out of Arizona after the Cardinals favored former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray in this year’s draft, so that leaves him in a position where he needs to win back the confidence of an NFL franchise.
Like many rookies, Rosen struggled mightily in his rookie year. The former UCLA Bruin only completed roughly 55 percent of his passes, while throwing 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
The biggest challenge for the Dolphins quarterback in 2019, no matter which player wins the job, will be compensating for the team’s lack of offensive weapons. Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker can provide the team with speed options downfield, but the offensive line will need to improve significantly after allowing 52 sacks in 2018 (tied for fifth-most in the NFL).
Having the worst playoff odds doesn’t necessarily mean a team is going to be the worst in the league, and while that won’t be any solace for the Dolphins this season, it seems to be the case here.
Having to face the Patriots twice a season makes the challenge of making the postseason that much more difficult for the Dolphins.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins schedule doesn’t bode well for them in 2019. The Fins will take on six playoff teams from a season ago, including the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers.
It will take something superhuman from the Dolphins to sniff the playoffs this season. Therefore, DraftKings’ +1200 odds appear to be spot-on.
Note: All statistics above were found on Football-Reference.com. The advice above represents the writer's personal view and does not reflect or represent BetQL's stance or interest in any way.