One of the vital fascinating elements of the upcoming Philadelphia Eagles season doesn’t even have something to do with their video games.
That’s not meant as a slight to the Birds, to be clear. Quite, it’s in regards to the intrigue that comes with the excessive picks they’re owed within the 2022 NFL Draft. Everyone knows the Birds may probably have three first-round choices subsequent yr.
We already spend loads of time regarding ourselves with the Eagles’ outlook. Why not additionally forecast how the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts would possibly fare this season? You understand, to get a way of the place these picks owned by the Eagles would possibly land.
We’ll begin at the moment with the Fish earlier than shifting on for a more in-depth take a look at Carson Wentz’s new crew.
EARLY 2021 POINT SPREADS
The Dolphins are favored in simply eight of their 17 video games, which ranks tied for seventeenth most alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. Every week-by-week overview:
Week 1 – Dolphins at Patriots (-2.5)
Week 2 – Payments (-3.5) at Dolphins
Week 3 – Dolphins (PICK) at Raiders
Week 4 – Colts (-1.5) at Dolphins
Week 5 – Dolphins at Buccaneers (-7.5)
Week 6 – Dolphins (-1.5) at Jaguars
Week 7 – Falcons at Dolphins (-3.5)
Week 8 – Dolphins at Payments (-7)
Week 9 – Texans at Dolphins (-7.5)
Week 10 – Ravens (-3) at Dolphins
Week 11 – Dolphins (-3) at Jets
Week 12 – Panthers at Dolphins (-4.5)
Week 13 – Giants at Dolphins (-3.5)
Week 14 – BYE
Week 15 – Jets at Dolphins (-6.5)
Week 16 – Dolphins at Saints (-3.5)
Week 17 – Dolphins at Titans (-3)
Week 18 – Patriots at Dolphins (-2.5)
Going by way of a fast win-loss prediction, I see the Dolphins ending round 9-8 or 10-7.
Miami completed the 2020 season with a protection that ranked ninth total by weighted DVOA. There’s motive to imagine Brian Flores may have that unit taking part in properly as soon as once more in 2021. The Dolphins head coach has typically maximized his expertise to date. The secondary appears to be like robust on paper with Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Jevon Holland, and outdated good friend Eric Rowe beginning there. The Dolphins drafted boom-or-bust edge defender Jaelen Phillips to probably give them some extra pass-rushing juice.
The larger query is what occurs with the offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is gone. Tua Tagovailoa is now the beginning quarterback and there’s an honest quantity of skepticism about his outlook. Professional Soccer Focus lately ranked him twenty ninth (simply two spots forward of former Alabama teammate Jalen Hurts) out of 32 starters:
It’s exhausting to regulate to the velocity of the sport as a rookie, particularly while you don’t know while you’re going to be pulled for a savvy veteran. Tua has a possibility this yr to take management of the offense and present he belongs. The Dolphins proceed to make stable roster strikes by way of trades, free company and the draft to encompass their younger QB with weapons. Tua was exceptionally conservative final yr, with solely seven big-time throws all season. That’s not the worst factor, however he additionally had 13 turnover-worthy performs.
I can’t say I used to be impressed with what I noticed out of Tua final yr. In equity to him, he was coming off harm and didn’t have a standard offseason. He additionally didn’t have Jaylen Waddle and WIll Fuller, who the Dolphins added this offseason, to work with.
Nonetheless, he may’ve fairly proven extra potential. Take a look at what Justin Herbert did final yr. Issues have been hardly straightforward for him taking part in behind one of many NFL’s worst pass-blocking offensive traces. In contrast to Tua, Herbert needed to make his NFL debut on very shorter discover. And but he thrived within the face of adversity.
It’s attainable issues come collectively for Tua in Yr 2 however I don’t learn about him abruptly evolving right into a high 10 participant at his place. I’m nonetheless anticipating to see a below-average starter till he proves himself in any other case. I feel there’s a sensible state of affairs the place Tua completely flops and this crew finishes with a shedding document. Flores and the protection ought to stop one thing as catastrophic as a bottom-five end, although.
I’m going to guess the more than likely vary for the Dolphins’ 2022 first-round choose is between 11 and 21. What say you?