Miami Dolphins 2010-2011 Season Preview

A Look Back – Injuries really crippled the Miami Dolphins in 2009, as the losses of both QB Chad Pennington and RB Ronnie Brown were devastating for their hopes of making the playoffs. Brown is back, but Pennington’s replacement, Chad Henne, now has the pressure on his shoulders for leading the franchise into the next generation.

Key Addition – WR Brandon Marshall – The Dolphins have been craving a legitimate #1 receiver for years. They’ve finally found it in the form of Marshall, who absolutely busted out as one of the Top 5 receivers in the NFL last year. He caught an NFL record 21 passes in a game in 2009 and could pull off a similar stunt if Henne only has eyes for him at some point this year. The key is going to be staying out of trouble off the field, as South Beach provides plenty of opportunities for Marshall and his entourage to get into danger.

Miami Dolphins NFL Cheerleader

Key Loss – LB Joey Porter – Porter was a veteran presence in the linebacking corps for the Fins since coming to Miami. He proved that he still had some game left in the tank by averaging double digits in sacks for his team in South Beach. Porter does have some replacements available for him, most notably second round draft pick Koa Misi and former Arizona Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby, but no one is going to have the motor and desire that Porter does to reach opposing quarterbacks.

2010 Will Be a Success if... – Brown and RB Ricky Williams continue to carry the load. That duo needs to be good for 2,000+ yards this season for Miami to have a chance of making the playoffs. There are several teams with amazing rush defenses that the Fins will run up against this year, and if they can’t successfully run the ball on all of them, the defense probably isn’t going to prove to be good enough to get the job done often enough to reach the second season.

The Crucial Game – The game in the Meadowlands on December 12th could be the difference between getting into the playoffs and missing them for the Dolphins. Either New York or New England is probably going to have to be beaten in order to make the second season, and a win in the Big Apple would go a long way to punching the Dolphins ticket. Pretty much “gimme” home games against Buffalo and Detroit lurk immediately after that game and Chicago, Oakland, and Cleveland are directly before it. Don’t be shocked if a win against the Jets puts the Fins on a six game winning streak by the time it’s all said and done.

Predictions – Miami might have a favorable schedule down the stretch, but that doesn’t mean that it is a playoff team waiting to happen. The Fins have plenty of work to do and have to improve, particularly on defense, throughout the season in order to reach the playoffs. Don’t expect this to be the year that happens. The Miami Dolphins regular season wins over/under is 8.5 wins.

2010 Miami Dolphins Regular Season Schedule

9/12 @ BUF
9/19 @ MIN
9/26 vs. NYJ
10/4 vs. NE
Bye
10/17 @ GB
10/24 vs. PIT
10/31 @ CIN
11/7 @ BAL
11/14 vs. TEN
11/18 vs. CHI
11/28 @ OAK
12/5 vs. CLE
12/12 @ NYJ
12/19 vs. BUF
12/26 vs. DET
1/2 @ NE

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