I saw where Pro Football Talk had the Dolphins ranked 27th in their "for fun" pre-season power rankings and thought it was worth a quick round of chatter...
I used to get a bit tweaked by stuff like this. But over the years I have come to realize just how close this league is from top to bottom and just how hard it is to predict a season. The ultra stable franchises like New England, Pittsburgh and now Green Bay (possibly the New York Giants) make it easier to throw out a few favorites to win a Super Bowl. These days, stability is the only real edge that you can get in the NFL because the talent level is so close. Unfortunately, the Dolphins have not been an image of stability over the last 10+ years and we have paid the price for it. But we have a lot of company on the instability category. Only a few teams have a good enough track record of stability to be relied on in the power rankings and they are the saving grace of the rankings setters.
The tool of choice for team stability these days is the combination of head coach and quarterback. There are very few exceptions to this rule, so the obvious thought is... "when will Miami get back that much needed head coach/QB combination?" I wish I had an answer for that, but the good news is it can happen at any time and we just have to recognise it when it does happen. Until then, we will have to live with pathetic power rankings and realize that it is likely the fans that will see the magic happening before the national media.
Historically, the media is reactive. I don't expect them to get anything right ahead of time and I can live with that as long as they don't try to act like they saw something coming when change finally happens. So let me do my part and say that I would put us in the middle of the pack in the power rankings. Look through our schedule and it is no stretch to put us at 9-7 this season. Over/under is typically a game so that means that we should end up .500 or better for the year. Now of course we don't play every team, but there are plenty of very beatable teams not on our schedule this year.
Does this mean anything? No. All of this is just fun stuff put out there for debate. We have a very new team dynamic brewing. While it isn't extremely likely that we will be able to strike lightening and have a bang up year, it could happen. Overall, our line play, run game, overall defense and special teams should be good enough to keep us no worse than middle of the road. So forget the power rankings. Use your mind and trust your observations to understand the status of the team.