Are the Dolphins For Real?

For the first time in a long time Dolphins fans have a reason to be excited for Sunday.  For the first time in a long time the Dolphins are on the national radar.  For the first time in a long time there’s talk of a new team in charge in the AFC East.  All of this is great to hear but let me ask you this, are they for real?

As the Dolphins prepare to take the field tomorrow for their home opener against the Falcons they are in the national spotlight after a 2-0 start.  Sure starting 2-0 is impressive especially with both of those wins on the road, but this is where the schedule gets serious.  Back to back games with NFC power houses with  the Falcons on Sunday and then in New Orleans next Monday night.  After that they host the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens who granted don’t look like the same team but by no means will be a push over.  If the Dolphins can win 2 out of these next 3 games then maybe it’s time to start buying into the hype.

As expected the Dolphins defense and the front seven especially, has been very impressive so far.   Through two games they have the second ranked defense in the league behind the Seahawks and their 9 sacks rank 4th in the league.  All three of their prized free agent acquisitions on the defensive side of the ball have paid dividends so far as well.  Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler lead the team in tackles with 20 and 18 respectively and Brent Grimes’s second half interception last week of Andrew Luck proved to be one of the biggest plays down the stretch in the win over the Colts.

While last year the Falcons were the best team in the NFC right now they are not a healthy ball club.  Running back Steven Jackson has a thigh injury and will not play this week along with starting OLB Sean Weatherspoon who was placed on IR this week.  Along with Jackson there are other injury concerns on the offensive side of the ball as both star wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones are listed as questionable and White’s nagging ankle injury has certainly slowed him down the first 2 weeks.  That being said Miami also has concerns about its own number one wide receiver as Mike Wallace is listed as questionable after tweaking his groin this week in practice.

What does this mean for the Dolphins?  They could be catching the Falcons at the perfect time.  Remember in the NFL it’s not always about who you play but more so when you play them.  Granted if Wallace is out it will be a hit to the Dolphins offense but the Falcons can still be beat, and if they do so we’ll see you next week in New Orleans for the biggest game for this franchise in 10 years and that’s something exciting to think about. 

Billy Dowling