Miami Dolphins fans have a lot to be excited about going into next season after watching on in awe as their team landed one of the best wide receivers in the game.
It’s been quite the remarkable NFL offseason. Apart from the Tyreek Hill trade, Davante Adams switched teams while Aaron Rodgers did not, and Tom Brady retired and then unretired.
The Dolphins opted not to go for another quarterback, though they had some great options available. They’re going to be sticking with Tua Tagovailoa in the hopes that Hill’s addition could take them to the top. They did have one of the most unbelievable endings to a season last year, going 8-1 to finish 2021/22.
Adversely, the Arizona Cardinals started the season 7-0 before losing to the Green Bay Packers in October. They finished 11-6, crashing out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion, and are now 33/1 to win the Super Bowl next term with the biggest bookies online. You can also bet on the Cardinals on Bet Arizona if you reside there.
Fans would have noticed that there are similarities between last season’s Cardinals roster and the one the Dolphins are building right now.
First off, they both have franchise QBs they got from the draft in Tua and Kyler Murray. They also both traded for big-name WRs in Hill and DeAndre Hopkins.
Miami is feeling just as confident as the Cards did over their offense heading into last season while both teams’ defenses performed at satisfactory levels the previous year.
There are differences, though. The Dolphins’ offensive line should be a bit better than the one Arizona put out there last season, that is since they brought in Terron Armstead.
As for coaches, Miami’s Mike McDaniel is going into a campaign as a head coach for the first time in his career, having served as an intern, assistant, and coordinator for various teams in the NFL.
Kliff Kingsbury had worked as a head coach prior to getting the job in Arizona. The 42-year-old was the HC at Texas Tech for five years.
In any case, the Dolphins would do well to take note of the things that fell apart for the Cardinals after their blistering start to last season. Kingsbury lived and died by the passing game and it’s a mistake McDaniel should avoid.
He does have former Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds at his disposal, with the 2018 first-round pick joining the Dolphins on a two-year deal last month. Despite the move, it doesn’t appear that the team’s rushing will improve significantly. The offensive line will have to be a lot better creating gaps for the ground game. A team reliant on a QB, as great as he might be, can’t expect constant success.
McDaniel will also benefit from keeping simple things simple. Kingsbury fell victim to overcomplicating things last season, earning himself the unwanted reputation of someone who makes the wrong decision when the best one is the obvious one.
Take for example the game against the Dolphins in 2020 when he went for it on fourth down early in the contest and then called a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Zane Gonzalez missed the kick and the Cardinals lost.
Another good example is a loss to the Detroit Lions last year in which the head coach opted against running the ball on a short goal-to-go. They did not make the conversion en route to an embarrassing loss.
It seems pretty straightforward but Tua should be looking to get that football to Hill. It’s also one of the things that should puzzle folks looking back at the Cardinals’ most recent season. They traded for Hopkins and, while he missed games due to injury, Murray simply didn’t pass to him enough when he was available, leading to the WR failing to reach near the heights he did in 2020.
Hopkins is one of the best catchers in coverage yet Murray apparently didn’t trust throwing the ball to him in contested situations and it cost Arizona in the long run.
Miami simply has to avoid going down that road with Hill. After all, they traded for him and are paying him a lot of money – he needs to see targets north of 100 next season.
If the Dolphins could avoid all of those pitfalls, they could possibly do the unthinkable and bring a Super Bowl trophy to Miami for the first time since 1973. They’re also 33/1 to win it all next term but are building a roster that can compete for silverware barring injuries.
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