The 2021 season was a long, confusing, emotional rollercoaster for the Miami Dolphins. Through the sum of just one season, they managed to achieve two incredible feats: Lose seven contests in a row, and go on a streak of seven consecutive victories. After having a 1-7 record at the halfway point of the year, Miami was able to rally and secure nine wins.
Despite a successful run at the latter half of thecampaign, Miami elected to go in several new directions. This started with a coaching change, bringing in San Francisco’s now former offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniels, to take over as the team’s head coach.
More coveted news around the Dolphins this offseason includes bringing in free agency’s no.1 tackle, Terron Armstead, and the blockbuster trade that sent All-Pro Tyreek Hill to Miami.
With all of these offseason changes, the ‘Fins are hoping to avoid any and all situations where a disastrous stretch of the year may transpire, similar to the seven losses in a row the team suffered. Swimming back into the NFL postseason in 2022 won’t be so easy, though. If the Dolphins want to swim in clear water, there are some things that must happen.
Watch NFL Games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)
2 Things Dolphins Must Do To Splash Into The 2022 NFL Playoffs.
2. Don’t fall victim to the media
Everyone wants to talk about the Dolphins this offseason, and for good reason. It seems Miami has done nothing but great things, between taking major steps at addressing the 32nd ranked offensive line (via Pro Football Focus) to reworking the weaponry around Tua.
Miami has made big moves this summer, and with big moves come big media hype. It’s important the ‘Fins don’t let themselves be victims of this attention.
While new pieces are always fun, the addition of these pieces ultimately means there’s hard work ahead in making sure everything is flowing smoothly. After all, there’s just one small period of time before the year starts.
In addition to Tyreek Hill being a newcomer on the team, so is Miami’s no.3 receiver Cedrick Wilson. Altogether, Miami’s offense is working with a new no.1 wideout, no.3 receiver, starting left tackle and starting center.
These pieces will need to continue focusing on building synergy, so play effortlessly translates onto the field once the new football season begins.
As it stands, Tyreek Hill and Tua have put extensive work on developing great chemistry this summer. Hill has reportedly been impressed with his new quarterback, even going as far as putting Tagovailoa above his former QB Patrick Mahomes in the exact department.
In fact, as recent as earlier today, Hill circled back to his earlier comments regarding Tua’s accuracy, claiming [Tua] throws the most accurate ball leaguewide.
Tyreek Hill says Tua Tagovailoa is “the most accurate quarterback in the NFL.”
Tua since being drafted in 2020:
66.2% comp pct
(t-19th among 37 qualified QBs) pic.twitter.com/BSWBKyD9RQ
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) July 25, 2022
It’s good to see Hill embracing his new quarterback so warmly, but things can go south quick if the team gets too caught up in this world where they can do no wrong. Miami certainly has a legitimate chance to make the postseason in 2022, and keeping their heads on straight will go a long way to getting there.
1. Work with Tua, not against him
Normally, there’s no real reason to say this. Collaborating and being on the same page with your starting quarterback is an obvious key to success. So obvious, why say it?
The problem is, for the 2021 Dolphins, it wasn’t obvious.
Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores didn’t sugarcoat his view of Miami’s quarterback when coaching the former Alabama stud. Per Michael LombardiFlores even went as far as telling his quarterback he wished he drafted another thrower of the football.
“If I’d have known you were going to be this bad, I would have picked Mac Jones,” Lombardi accused Flores of telling Tua.
There was even a moment of time where Deshaun Watson and Flores were hopeful to team up in Miami. Unfortunately for the duo, the Dolphins owner felt it necessary to shut down such a move, given the large number of serious acquisitions presented against Watson around this time.
Eventually, team owner Stephen Ross had to pick a direction for the team: what Flores envisioned moving forward, or continue the process and stick with the quarterback drafted fifth-overall. Naturally, Ross chose the latter, and Flores was later relieved of his head coach duties in Miami.
If the Dolphins want to avoid any midseason collapses this time around, making sure your head coach and quarterback are in sync is a top priority. Given how this situation wrapped up, it’s hard to believe Ross wouldn’t make sure McDaniels is on the Tua train prior to his hire. Still, we can’t be so sure – Stranger things have happened.
Tua finished his sophomore campaign with 2,653 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns. Miami’s young quarterback also added an additional 128 yards with 3 scores on the ground. Impressively, the 24-year-old completed a league-high 50% of passes thrown 20+ yards out. Even more eye popping, this feat was accomplished behind the league’s worst line.
If you want the best chances of success, be one with your signal caller. Easy stuff.