2023 DolphinsTalk Staff Season Predictions

Mike Oliva:  I have Miami Going 11-6 on the season. I would love to pick Miami winning Week 1 in LA vs. the Chargers, but I have doubts Armstead will play, and if so, he may be less than 100%; plus, the secondary is still nursing a lot of injuries heading into September. Bad match-up there. After that, I think Miami will sweep NE and will split with Buffalo and the Jets inside the AFC East. Miami will feast on teams that don’t have a high-powered offense (i.e., Carolina, Washington, NYG, Tennesse, and the Raiders). Playing Philly and KC away from Hard Rock Stadium makes it tough to win those games. So when all is said and done, Miami ends up 11-6 on the year.

Tom Ernisse:  I have the Dolphins finishing at 11-6.  The health of this roster will define this year throughout the season.  Last year, injuries piled up early and often as key pieces to the defense (Byron Jones, Nik Needham) were sidelined for the season.  Tua missed games, and the team struggled mightily without him.  This year, the excuses go away.  I have the Dolphins 4-2 in the division (split with Bills/Jets, sweep Pats).  The Dolphins can get on a run early in the season and potentially get to the bye week at 6-3, which will set them up for long-term success, especially with Jalen Ramsey returning—winnable games after the bye week with a brutal stretch to end the season.  I think with a healthy Tua, this team has the chance to make a strong push to the AFC Championship game.

Big E: The 2022 Miami Dolphins team went through major ups and downs with their win streaks and losing streaks. Even though the team was struck by the injury bug on both sides of the ball last season, they were still able to achieve a playoff berth. For the 2023 season, the team personnel has pretty much stayed consistent, although a few expected contributors were added, like David Long Jr., De’Von Achane, and Jalen Ramsey (who will possibly be a contributor toward the end of the season). The biggest change that will impact the 2023 Dolphins’ overall success is the addition of Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, who seems to have a golden touch when he is brought on to a team as a DC. Through his 3-4 defensive scheme and ability to not have to rely on the cover zero blitz as frequently as previous defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, there should be many more opportunities for quarterback and run game disruption and more turnover opportunities by the defensive backs. This should elevate the Miami Dolphins’ overall defensive rating from being in the middle of the NFL to being a top 10 defensive in the league.  And, if the offense is able to stay consistent from their 2022 production, which landed them as a top offensive team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins will be competing late into January for a title run. Fins UP!

Josh Katzker: It’s a huge season for the Miami Dolphins. For the first time in recent memory, the ceiling for the team can fairly reasonably be said to be Super Bowl champions. Getting there won’t be easy, as the Dolphins will play 6 games against opponents from the AFC East, which is arguably the toughest division in the NFL. I see the Dolphins having a lot of success this season, led by an offense that will truly come into its own and a defense that will rival the NFL’s best. I think they’ll still struggle on the road against their toughest opponents, but they should handle the mediocre and bad teams. If they can stay completely healthy and catch a few breaks, I can see them winning 12 or 13 games easily. The flip side is that I can also see them getting unlucky and losing many games to injury. In that case, they’re probably closer to their floor, which I believe is 8 or 9 wins. So it’s probably not a surprise that when I went game by game, thinking only about individual results, my end record for the team was 11-6. It might not be good enough to win.

Aaron Katzker: Miami has arguably the best roster they’ve had in 30 years, but they also happen to play in a loaded conference and probably the best division in football. The game that has been the toughest for me to pick is the opener at LA because the last time we saw this team in Sofi stadium, Tua and the offense were getting punk’d, and Justin Herbert looked like he was clearly the best QB on the field. I give Miami the advantage this time due to coaching and upgrades to their offensive weapons. Miami uses that as a springboard to a 3-0 start and saves for a loss in Buffalo, winning in 5 of their first six games. A tough four-game stretch that sees Miami play back-to-back weeks against last year’s Super Bowl representatives and a Black Friday game at the Jets on national TV on short rest (they better win that home game against Vegas) has Miami at 6-3. This is where I see Jalen Ramsey’s return and Miami playing their best football down the stretch, reeling off four straight wins before losing a late-season road tilt against Baltimore that puts them from the driver’s seat to squarely on the playoff bubble going into the final game of the season at home against the Bills. I’m not sure if it will be for the division, but I am almost certain it will have immense playoff implications for both teams. With everything that’s gone into building this team for this particular season, I just have to pick Miami to get the job done. And what the hell, let’s call it an AFC East title as well. This will probably be good for the 3rd or 4th seed in the conference, and Miami follows it up with their first playoff win since January of 2001. I’m not ready to predict this team to go any further at this point, though. Miami loses a 2nd round game on the road in vintage late-90s/early-2000s fashion, and the rally cries of “Next year, we’re all in” is all we can hear for the next eight months until they get a shot at redemption.