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

 

Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins had an unspecified surgery that that will keep him off of the field until training camp.

The injury means that the Dolphins won’t be able to practice their re-worked offense until he returns which is going to hurt them early in the season.Miami Dolphins NFL Cheerleaders

Last season, the Miami Dolphins were a run-first team and didn’t have any receivers with anywhere near Marshall’s talent and his presence. Now they aren’t going to be able to practice their new offense until he gets back which means early season growing pains are going to be amplified.

Marshall isn’t the only receiver injured. Patrick Turner, a sophomore receiver who didn’t see much action as a rookie, is also out with an injury. He was making progress and could become a key to their throwing attack with Marshall drawing all of the extra defensive attention.

The Dolphins Week 1 opponent is the Buffalo Bills. The NFL odds list the Dolphins as 1-point favorites with an over/under of 37.5. You might consider taking that under now because it will probably drop when the Dolphins struggle in the pre-season while still getting used ot Marshall.

 

Winners

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy is perfect for them and they got him exactly where he should go.

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry is exactly what they needed. They might have been able to trade down a few spots and still pick him, but Berry is exactly what they needed.

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung probably shouldn’t have fallen to Seattle, so great for them to pick him up. Earl Thomas is another great pick at 14. The Seahawks probably did the best of anyone on Day 1.

San Francisco 49ers: Getting two offensive linemen, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, in the first round complete remakes their offensive line in just one day. I’m guessing they traded up for Iupati because they thought the Steelers were going to grab him.

Miami Dolphins: I like what they did trading down. And I like Jared Odrick. They grabbed some extra picks and still got a huge piece in the first round.

New York Jets: Kyle Wilson is going to learn from the best and, in a year or two, beat out an All-Star corner for a job.

Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes is an incredible value at 31.

Losers

St Louis Rams: It’s too easy for a quarterback to end up as a bust and they get too much money as the number one pick. Sam Bradford is a very good prospect, but not an elite one which is what you want with a number one overall QB. St Louis should have traded this pick and grabbed either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen later on in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade your first round draft pick to someone who is going to use it to draft first round talent.

Undecided

Denver Broncos: I love that they traded down, but Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas probably could have been picked up lower down.

Having said that, I’m a Tebow believer. He will be the best quarterback to come out of this draft because he has the right kind of determination and attention to detail to put in countless hours to fix his throwing mechanics and he has the demeanor of a winner on-field.

If the Broncos knew that someone was going to grab Tebow before them, then trading up to grab him was a good move.

 

Marshall is Now Florida’s Mistake

With the Miami Dolphins’ acquisition of Brandon Marshall they get the elite receiver that they need. He instantly improves the offense and gives quarterback Chad Henne a number one target who can make plays.
Miami Dolphins NFL Cheerleader
Marshall will be good for a short while in Florida, but he’s not going to be a long-term help for this franchise.

The biggest problem for the Dolphins is that Miami is just too damn fun.

Look at all of the trouble Marshall got in to in Denver and then multiply that by ten. He is going to be out all of the time surrounded by people stroking his ego and it’s going to make him harder to deal with.

I’d love to be in Marshall’s shoes cause he is going to have a great time and he is set with his new contract. I’m sure he’ll put together a few good seasons, but he won’t be worth it for Florida.

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