Let’s set the scene:
It’s February 4th, 2019 – the day after the Patriots and Tom Brady win their 6th Super Bowl – and a still celebrating Brian Flores has just been announced as the 12th head coach of the Miami Dolphins. The team makes it glaringly apparent that the franchise is going to need a major rebuilt. And after the first draft and free agency period under the new regime, the narrative for the rebuild was weaved in stone –
In three easy steps, the Dolphins would again reign over the AFC East:
- 2019 the Dolphins would focus on rebuilding the defense
- 2020 the Dolphins would focus on rebuilding the offense
- 2021 the Dolphins would fill in the holes
Though, over the coming years, something astonishing happened; the rebuild sped up. In year two of a three-year rebuild, the Dolphins went on a tear across the league and won 10 of its final 14 to end the 2020 season.
And in pursuit of that, in that misguided pursuit to cut corners for the sake of instant gratification. That’s where – in my opinion – the Dolphins botched rebuilding this offense, maybe even the entire team. By taking huge offensive gambles and over-spending on a defense that has heavily regressed in its 3rd year:
Defense PPG Allowed 2019-2021 (Flo era):
- 2019: 494/16=30.9 PPG (32nd in NFL)
- 2020: 338/16=21.1 PPG (6th in NFL)
- 2021: 269/11=24.5 PPG (23rd in NFL)
TOTAL: 25.6 PPG Allowed in Flo era
With a defensive-minded head coach, this regression showcases why the rebuild is completely collapsing in on itself like a dying star. If that wasn’t enough, the offense is somehow even worse than the one Ryan Fitzpatrick led in 2019. As a reference, Fitz led that team in both passing AND rushing with 243 ground yards, closely followed by Mark Walton, who ran for 201 yards and zero touchdowns.
Offense PPG 2019-2021 (Flo era):
- 2019: 306/16=19.1 PPG (25th in NFL)
- 2020: 404/16=25.3 PPG (15th in NFL)
- 2021: 201/11=18.3 PPG (26th in NFL)
TOTAL: 21.2 PPG in Flo era
To fix all of these offensive woes, the Dolphins added Jaylen Waddle before the season (who currently leads the team in yards and touchdowns) and absolutely refused to troubleshoot the runningback position. Then, the team decided to fix the rest of its issues by trusting in a trio of professional hospital patients:
- Devante Parker – Has started only 61 of 107 possible games.
- Will Fuller – A measly 52 of 91.
- Preston Williams – A terrifying 17 of 43.
*BETWEEN THE 3 OF THEM – This joke of a trio is only available to start in 54% of their games.*
These three should, and most likely will, be on new NFL teams in 2022.
So, going forward, excluding possible 2022 draft picks or free-agent signings, this could easily be your 2022 Dolphins offense:
QB – Tua
RB – Gaskin
WR – Waddle
WR – Hollins
WR – Bowden
TE – Shaheen
LT – Eichenberg
LG – Jackson
C – Deiter
RG – Hunt
RT – Davis
(BOLD players mean I like them, lol)
But where is Gesicki?!
There have been murmurs that the franchise doesn’t want to pay the new market price on him. If so, this offense could look even uglier in 2022.
In Conclusion (Where We Stand)
Since early-2020, we could see it: the Dolphins defense is way ahead of its offense. An obvious fallout from Flo’s inability to hire offensive staff and to cultivate offensive potential. And now, with the horrifyingly wasted Will Fuller contract; the constant draft misevaluations on the offensive line; the even-more constant refusal to draft a starting runningback; and a grossly incompetent denial that players like Devante Parker and Preston Williams may never truly live up to their talent levels – has forced this team into a corner. A desperate and talentless corner where, God forbid, the Dolphins could get stingy with Mike Gesicki and be left with only one true playmaker on this roster: Jaylen Waddle.
Jaylen Waddle and 7 to 8 offensive holes to fill.
So, for the love of God, sign Gesicki, and spend like your wallet is water, or another 3-year rebuild might be silently forming on the horizon.