What We Learned About the Miami Dolphins in 2017

The Dolphins finished off the 2017 season with a 6-10 record and simply couldn’t put it together this season. Expectations were high before the season started but Miami couldn’t finish when it came down to it.

We learned a lot about this team over the course of the season. First thing was that this team will never amount to anything without a solid quarterback but that should be common knowledge. Last year Miami went 10-6 with Tannehill playing quarterback for most of the season up until he got injured and Matt Moore came in to finish the job. This year Tannehill tears his ACL in training camp and then they bring in Cutler. Sounded like a good idea to bring him in at first but as we all saw, it wasn’t. Now with the season over, it’s looking like Tannehill will be the starter next year, but this team still needs to get a quarterback in the draft. If Tannehill were to go down again with injury Gase needs someone who could step in and be successful with the talent around him.

We also learned that Kiko Alonso can’t cover anyone, and that this linebacker unit still needs to be fixed. Last season Kiko Alonso played well and Adam Gase rewarded him with a contract extension because of it. This year we saw game after game quarterbacks look to throw at their tight-ends because Kiko Alosno simply couldn’t keep up with him.

 Obviously with Kiko signed long term he’s not going anywhere so this team is going to need to take a linebacker who can play well in coverage. Whether that’s Raekwon McMillan or someone in the draft doesn’t matter to me, it’s just a problem that needs to be fixed and even with McMillan coming back next year when healthy this team needs to draft a linebacker to fix the problems they have at that position.

The third thing we learned is that you can’t keep signing offensive lineman who are going from team to team and expect it to work. Ted Larsen spent the first part of the season injured and once he became healthy and played there really wasn’t much improvement on the offensive line. I’m not sure why Gase insists on not drafting offensive lineman early in the draft but that’s something that needs to change. The offensive line has been a problem for quite some time and it needs to finally be fixed.

Not everything was a problem this season though. We also learned that given the opportunity, Kenyan Drake can be an explosive player out of the backfield. Jay Ajayi was the starter up until he got traded away to Philadelphia and most fans thought that was a bad deal. Kenyan Drake did well to show that it wasn’t. The offense got noticeably better once Drake became the starter and Drake did well to keep the offense flowing.

For the final five weeks of the season Kenyan Drake led the NFL in rushing with 444 yards. I know that’s a small sample size but he was consistent in the games he played. One thing I really liked about Drake’s play this season is that he stays patient before he hits the hole. That trait for a running-back is crucial because he always has the chance to make something out of nothing.

Miami isn’t far off from returning back to what they were in 2016 but it’s going to take a solid draft to get them back there because they still have problems that should have been fixed already, specifically speaking about the linebacker unit and offensive line.