The Fins' 2014 season was the epitome of a .500 record. They finished 8-8, split their games on the road and at home at 4-4 and went 3-3 in divisional games. They even broke even on touchdowns, scoring and allowing 42 of them through the season. That, Dolphins fans, is the perfect example of middle of the pack.
But that feels like I'm selling the Dolphins a bit short. They're a solid team. The just have the rotten luck of being in the same division as Tom Brady. If you look back at 2014, three of your losses were close against stellar offenses. That includes losing by just a field goal to Denver and Green Bay. You win those close games, you end up at 11-5, and that would've landed you a playoff spot.
The bottom line is the Fins have been on the edge of some quality years after two consecutive 8-8 seasons. But it should only get better for you, Dolphins fans. Here's why.
Ryan Tannehill quietly had a good year, throwing for over 4,000 yards for the first time in his young career. Granted, it's not an MVP season, but he was very good overall. He also set career-highs in touchdowns, rushing yards and QB rating. Tannehill even had a better completion percentage than Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Lamar Miller also emerged as your lead back. The 2013 season never quite panned out for Miller. He was projected to be the guy for you then, but weak blocking ability limited his snap count and he didn't do a great deal when he got the carries.
It didn't look good for him entering 2014 either when the Fins picked up Knowshon Moreno. But Moreno missed most of the season with multiple injuries and Miller took advantage, rushing for 1,099 yards and even setting a record for the longest run in franchise history. All of that with less than 20 carries a game. Not bad at all, Miller.
There's still a question at the receiver spot. Hopefully, the team can keep Mike Wallace around since he's still the biggest touchdown target for the Fins. The offense seems to be clicking now.
Key defensive players
Grimes himself routinely picks-off elite quarterbacks. Just look at this one from the 2015 Pro Bowl. He may not have Legion of Boom-type size, but he'll make you pay for careless throws. When you have a solid pass rush and a turnover machine in the secondary, that's a great foundation for building a good defense going forward.
At the very least, Sun Life Stadium will have a whole new look. Just check out this demo. It does look a bit like a soccer stadium, but it's pretty sweet. Multiple screens, open air, new lounges, it has it all. Judging by the video, only one sideline is going to be in the hot Miami sun, and the other is in the cozy shade. Home-field advantage much?
It even has a "72 Club" section to keep reliving that one great season. Which I understand, but does that mean that each section is named after specific seasons to keep the theme going? Are the cheap seats called the "62-7 Club?" Either way, it looks awesome.
It may be frustrating, Fins fans. It hasn't been easy, but you guys are set up to turn the corner real soon. Brady can't play forever, and at least you're not a Jets fan.