BetOnline.ag released their latest win projections for all 32 NFL teams recently. Many of them make sense. Some of them are quite baffling because they are either incredibly low or unbelievably high. The New England Patriots have the highest total at 11 (no surprise); the lowest total belongs to the Miami Dolphins.
With the exodus of talent and the general lack of talent to begin with, not to mention a new head coach that will have his own system to implement, there is little reason for oddsmakers to have any optimism for Miami this season:
- Regular Season Wins Miami Dolphins
o Over 5 -130
o Under 5 +110
That translates into a 56.52 percent chance they will go over and a 47.62 percent chance they could go under. So, realistically, it could go either way. But when it comes to putting money on something, we want more than ‘could go either way.’
First, it will help to paint a better picture of just what the team was. Last season the Dolphins were not good, but they were not bad either. With a 7-6 record heading into Week 15, they had a shot at making the postseason but then lost their last three and finished 7-9.
Only one loss was by a touchdown or less, but all even wins were by a touchdown and two-point conversion or less. Three of them were by four points or less. What that tells us is that that they were a play away from losing three additional games and finishing 4-12.
Since the other four wins were by a touchdown (seven or eight points), you could go as far as to say they could have easily gone 0-16 had a few calls or plays not gone their way. So, last year’s team was one that could have easily been one of the worse ones in NFL history—or maybe just another really bad team.
From that team, subtract three running backs, two offensive linemen, a linebacker, a wide receiver, and a defensive end. Some of the guys will not be missed, but the offensive line will certainly miss Ja’Wuan James, and the defense is going to miss Cameron Wake. Ryan Tannehill will probably not be missed, but his departure does leave a void.
Those are just the guys that have already signed somewhere else; another 15 remain unsigned.
So, we have a team that has jettisoned a lot of players, some good and other not so good, and the most significant additions to date are quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and seven guys from the now-defunct AAF. They will add some talent in the draft, but there is no way they can add enough to cover all the holes the roster already had and the ones they created in the offseason.
It is probably safe to say they are a team that was not good and has become worse. With the Jets and Bills getting better and the Patriots—well, being the Patriots, they will likely lose all six division games. Their non-conference slate includes the Browns, Cowboys, Colts, Ravens, Bengals, Eagles, Redskins, Chargers, Giants, and Steelers.
There is a distinct chance they could lose every game next season. Beating the Bengals may be their best shot at not going winless.
Five games may not seem like much but go with the under.