7-9 (8-8 ATS), 3rd Place AFC East in 2009
With just two weeks to play in the season, the Miami Dolphins thought that they were on East Street in '09. However, home losses to both the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers ended any chance that they had of making the playoffs for the second straight season in what ultimately was a very tumultuous and injury-riddled campaign. Things could be looking up for the Fish in 2010, even though the AFC East is a hellacious division to play in.
2010 Draft: After watching both Jason Taylor and Joey Porter head their own direction, the Dolphins were really left with a ton of holes to fill along their front seven. Two of those gaps were filled in a hurry in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, as DT Jared Odrick and DE Koa Misi were both added to the fold. Misi should provide great speed off the end in the 3-4, though it is going to take some time for him to learn the role of a 3-4 linebacker after spending his entire career as a down lineman in a 4-3. Odrick will be a fantastic defensive end in this system that will have a tremendously athletic upside, a rarity for a 3-4 end.
Offensive Outlook: After QB Chad Pennington was injured last year, things really started to go downhill for the Dolphins. Did QB Chad Henne prove that he was really capable of leading an NFL roster? With just 2,878 passing yards, 12 TDs, and 14 picks in 13 starts, we aren't so sure that he did just that. The Wildcat formation took a major nose dive in Year 2 of the project as well, especially with QB Pat White running the system. Matters were only made worse when RB Ronnie Brown went down just nine games into the season after rushing for 648 yards in the first half of the year. Still, the Fins ranked fourth in the league in rushing with 139.4 yards per game, and that will be the unit that is asked to do a lot of work in spite of the fact that the offense added one of the most dynamic receivers in the game in the offseason in the form of WR Brandon Marshall.
Defensive Outlook: Ranking 22nd overall and 24th against the pass was good enough to get DC Paul Pasquiloni fired in the offseason. In comes Mike Nolan, who certainly has his work cut out for him with a bunch of new faces all around this unit. There are clearly secondary issues in Miami, as four picks led the team last season. The squad only intercepted 15 passes all season long, a tally that just won't cut it. Youth will be all over the field, and another long year can be expected, but as Odrick and Misi get more accustomed to their new roles, the Fins might become very dangerous.
2010 Betting Outlook: If you take away that three game losing streak at the start of the year and the three game skid at the end of it, the Fins had a fantastic season! Home is clearly where the heart was for this team in '09 until right at the end of the year. They nearly had both New Orleans and Indianapolis beaten at Sun Life Stadium and did put beat downs on the Bills, Jets, and yes, even the Patriots. There isn't a team this year that is coming to town outside of the AFC East that made the playoffs last year, which is a great sign for better success in 2010.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at Bookmaker Sportsbook. Miami Dolphins Predictions: 7-9, 3rd Place in AFC East 2010 Miami Dolphins Schedule
Miami Dolphins Odds To Win AFC East: +330
Miami Dolphins Odds To Win AFC: +1600
Miami Dolphins Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +3700
Miami Dolphins Regular Season Win Total: 8.5 over -120
It's not often that you see a team at over 3-1 to win a division with a win total of 8.5 like we find Miami at this season. The Dolphins are good enough to compete if they stay healthy, but ultimately, that defense is going to be the root of some problems. Don't get us wrong... Miami is a team to keep a very close eye on this year and in the future, especially if Henne gets his act together, but there are too many "ifs" for us to be supporting this team for the playoffs in 2010.
Week 1 - Away @ Bills
Week 2 - Away @ Vikings
Week 3 - Home vs. Jets
Week 4 - Home vs. Patriots
Week 5 - Bye
Week 6 - Away @ Packers
Week 7 - Home vs. Steelers
Week 8 - Away @ Bengals
Week 9 - Away @ Ravens
Week 10 - Home vs. Titans
Week 11 - Home vs. Bears
Week 12 - Away @ Raiders
Week 13 - Home vs. Browns
Week 14 - Away @ Jets
Week 15 - Home vs. Bills
Week 16 - Home vs. Lions
Week 17 - Away @ Patriots
Miami Dolphins Predictions: 7-9, 3rd Place in AFC East
2010 Miami Dolphins Schedule