Preview: Week 1 Dolphins at Washington

Miami Dolphins(-3.5) vs Washington Redskins
1:00PM Kickoff
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts

We have finally arrived to the regular season.  One team comes into the game as national media darlings, the other have become a punch line.  The Miami Dolphins travel to Washington DC to take on the Redskins.  Miami has slowly become a big sleeper among some national media outlets, including ESPN's Jon Gruden.  What's not to like on paper about the Dolphins?  An ascending QB in Ryan Tannehill, who now has even bigger expectations after the additions of Greg Jennings, Jordan Cameron, Kenny Stills and Devante Parker.  Tannehill, who is entering his fourth season, has a big new contract to go with his high expectations. 

Not only that, the Dolphins also added arguably one of the best defenders in the game with Suh.  The defense looks to improve on their 12th ranked defense with the addition to Suh, who projects to help the porous rush defense, which collapsed late in the season last year.  With Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon on the ends, this unit could be arguably one of the leagues best.  While there are many thumbs up, Miami comes into the season with plenty of question marks.

First, what will Branden Albert look like coming off an ACL tear last season?  Opposite of Grimes, will one of the young guys or vets step up to offer a second shut down corner?  Can the LB corps improve and make their tackles, where they struggled last season?  How will the interior line hold up with Dallas Thomas and rookie Jamil Douglas?  We should find out in the first few weeks the answers to these questions.

On the other side of the field, the Redskins have had an offseason to forget.  Their biggest reason is Robert Griffin's health and how they will handle him this season as he is set to make $16 million in guaranteed money next year if he gets hurt. After a sloppy preseason game and poor protection, RG3 was hurt and was left in the game, only to take more of a beating.  Jay Gruden now turns to Kirk Cousins, the fourth round selection from Michigan State.  If you all recall, Cousins was taken in the same draft as RG3.  Cousins is more of a pocket passer, granted a better one than RG3 in that regards.  With the dynamic of RG3 out of this game, will the Redskins offensive line protect Cousins to allow him to get the ball down field?

The Redskins also signed much maligned DL Junior Galette, who was released from New Orleans, due to a tape of him allegedly hitting a woman with a belt during a beach brawl.  Galette is now hurt for the season and the Redskins continue to have questions defensively.  Their secondary was something to be desired, so they went out in FA and acquired Chris Culliver and Jeron Johnson.  In addition, they also signed Terrance Knighton to help bolster their front four, with Ryan Kerrigan leading the way.

Prediction:  While both these teams come in with question marks, I believe the Dolphins will come out on top due to depth and less issues internally.  Tannehill should have a good game and Lamar Miller is bound to start well this season, with the defense having their way up front with the Redskins OL to force Cousins into third and longs.

Dolphins 24
Redskins 13