A 6-10 season was not a favorable record for the Miami Dolphins coming off a playoff appearance last season. Blame can be put on the lack of leadership in the dressing room because of Ryan Tannehill’s absence or Adam Gase’s first season with the team, but why single out these two situations when it truly came down to team performance on the field? Without a team spirt on the field or the talent to do so, a winning record cannot be achieved. Here are my ratings for each unit of the Miami this year:


It is hard to fathom a team without a great quarterback in the modern game, but that is exactly what Miami had to deal with in 2017. With Jay Cutler at the helm, after a preseason ACL tear suffered by Ryan Tannehill, the Fins were doomed from the start. Cutler, after coming out of retirement, proved to be what he has been most of his career, a good quarterback with sparks of magic, and sparks of mediocrity. He earned the name “Good Jay, Bad Jay” in Chicago over the years, and has lived up to that in the Sunshine State this season, with 19 passing touchdowns and 2,666 passing yards, but 14 interceptions and four fumbles. This puts him in the below average category for quarterbacks in 2017 joining the Colts’ youngster Brisset and Clevland’s own DeShon Kizer. This makes Miami fans wonder, why Cutler and why us?

Rating: C-


It is no surprise that the Dolphins have been a pass first team in the 2010s, as they have struggled to find an impact runner of the same caliber as Miami legends Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Jay Ajayi seemed to be the heir apparent to these greats, but locker room troubles and consistent injuries saw the English-born player shipped off to Philadelphia. Deputy Kenyan Drake looks like genuine talent, coming into his own at the end of the season, registering 474 rushing yards in the last 5 games, and running rampant on the Buffalo, the fifth best rushing defense in the league, on two separate occasions. But Drake’s slow start to the season, even thought he was overshadowed initially by Ajayi, he deserves a bit a criticism.

Rating: B-


Miami was ranked by NFL.com as 16 in receiving this year, proving to be neither spectacular nor horrific. 24 receiving touchdowns is just about what you’d expect from a 6-10 team, but that number does not show Jarvis Landry’s impact to this offensive outfield, racking up 987 yards and nine touchdowns in 16 games. The Fins’ second best receiver Kenny Stills also had quite the year, conjuring 847 yards and six touchdowns, out showing up all of the Philadelphia Eagles’ receivers individually. Receiver Devante Parker and tight-end Julius Thomas also made a decent impact, accumulating 1,058 receiving yards and four touchdowns altogether. Although this makes “Bad Jay” look even worse, Miami’s wide out situation isn’t all that bad.

Rating: B 


Rating this Miami defense is difficult because they had such a commanding start to the season, but they quickly dropped off skill-wise towards the end of the season. The defensive unit ranked 17 in the league for most yards allowed and passing yards allow, while also ranking 19 in total tackles made and rushing yards allowed. This shows their average to above average stature, but the Fins defense ranked in the 26 and 28 in sacks and interceptions, respectively, proving them to lack game changing abilities. But some additions to the defensive line next to star Ndamukong Suh and another linebacker to help star linebacker Kiko Alonso, along with more consistency over the year, the Dolphins should be in good standing defensive wise starting next season.

Rating: C+

Adam Gase has work to do with his squad in the offseason. Gase has recently appointed the former Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains while still retaining Clyde Christensen in a different role with the team in order to help jumpstart a promising offense. Loggains was the quarterback coach for Chicago during the 2015 season and worked under Gase, so there is some familiarity in South Beach as Miami looks to make playoffs come next season.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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