A recent Twitter poll revealed that the majority of Miami Dolphins fans feel as if they’re preferred club is performing exactly as they expected. After four regular season games, the Dolphins suffered losses to the New England Patriots (2-1), Buffalo Bills (4-0) and the Seattle Seahawks (4-0). Miami’s only victory came against the (1 – 4) Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Dolphins are currently ranked 17th on offense and 29th on defense. That being said, Miami’s 1 – 4 record appears appropriate for an NFL team with those statistical rankings.
How the Dolphins set expectations:
Miami is rebuilding and as such, they’ve made significant changes on both sides of the ball. The defense is one of the most expensive in the league, giving Xavien Howard a lucrative extension, making him the highest-paid cornerback at the time. After that, they signed cornerback Byron Jones to an even bigger contract, making him the newest top paid corner in the league at that time. The Dolphins also used one of their first-round picks on cornerback Noah Igbinoghene. The defensive lines were also revamped, with free agent additions Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy.
Expectations were high for this group.
On offense, the running back, offensive line and quarterback positions were all addressed via free agency, the draft and trades. The starting offensive line only returned one starter from last season, as the new additions so far have played better, including rookie guard Solomon Kindley, who’s definitely been a bright spot.
The running back group was overhauled but underwhelmed so far. Myles Gaskin has been a surprise by taking the majority of the snaps over additions Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. However, the Dolphins are averaging 4.0 yards-per-carry, fairly disappointing although they’re up from 3.3 last season.
The quarterback situation has fans entrenched in daily debates on whether Tua Tagovailoa should continue to sit or if he should start. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a mixed bag so far. After a concerning first game against the Patriots, Fitzpatrick strung together two masterful performances before another shaky game against Seattle. No one really knows if the Dolphins would have more wins if Tagovailoa was starting but expectations would have been elevated and these poll results might have been different.
59% – The Dolphins are performing exactly as expected.
Most fans believe that the Dolphins are on schedule. Some believe that the lack of a preseason with so many roster changes were definitely factors in Miami’s slow start.
The fans are in consensus with the national sports analysts. Most experts have projected the AFC East to either be the Bills’ or Patriots’ division, while with the Dolphins are still a year away from contention.
23% – The Dolphins are performing worse than expected.
Some fans felt as if the Dolphins should be better. That is understandable when you examine how the team have lost games. Miami’s run defense was roasted in the first game. Subsequently, the pass defense was demoralized in the second game. These fans believe that the investments on defense should be yielding better results. In Miami’s third loss, the offense struggled to finish drives with touchdowns, instead of settling for field goals. This is where some fans believe that the offense won’t get to the next level until Tagovailoa takes over.
18% – The Dolphins are performing better than expected.
There are Miami fans out there that are pleasantly surprised with where the Dolphins are right now. This might be because the losses have been to undefeated teams and another team whose sole loss came to one of those loss-less squads. Inclusively, the Dolphins were competitive in each of those games against top teams.
Although early in the season, Miami is currently on track for a consecutive top-five draft pick. The next four games are against teams with flaws, injuries, or both. How Miami performs against the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will define this 2020 Dolphins team.