What’s the best-case scenario for the 2019 Miami Dolphins?
That quarterback Josh Rosen becomes a star, overcoming major roster flaws and getting them to 8-8.
What’s the worst-case scenario for the 2019 Miami Dolphins?
That Rosen is very bad, Ryan Fitzpatrick gets hurt, and the bottom falls out, with the team going 2-14.
Here’s the ugly truth for Dolphins fans: Although it might not feel that way, your team has been quite lucky the past three seasons.
The total point differential in Adam Gase’s tenure was minus-243. According to the Pythagorean expectation formula, used by Football Outsiders, the Dolphins should have gone 18-30 in that time. They overachieved by five full wins because of their great record in one-score games.
Logic suggests that at some point, the pendulum will swing back — and hard.
So that’s why we’re going with 4-12. Which, if your goal this year is to get the No. 1 pick in April (the Dolphins adamantly insist that it’s not the case), it’s a successful season.
Week 1: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sept. 8, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Ravens 24, Dolphins 20. These teams have met six times this decade, with the Ravens going 5-1 and outscoring the Dolphins by 64 points. The trend continues.
Week 2: vs. New England Patriots, Sept. 15, 1 p.m, CBS.
Prediction: Patriots 37, Dolphins 13. Our heart says the Flores Factor and the heat will allow the Dolphins to beat Bill Belichick in Miami for the sixth time in seven years. Our head says otherwise.
Week 3: at Dallas Cowboys, Sept. 22, 1 p.m., Fox.
Prediction: Cowboys 44, Dolphins 37. If the Cowboys are serious about winning a championship, they better beat the league’s worst teams.
Week 4: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Sept. 29, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Dolphins 21, Chargers 20. The Chargers are a sexy Super Bowl pick. But the Dolphins get off the schneid, thanks in large part to a 10 a.m. start for their visitors.
Week 5: Bye.
Week 6: vs. Washington Redskins, Oct. 13, 1 p.m., Fox.
Prediction: Dolphins 26, Redskins 10. Did Chris Grier make a mistake by passing on Dwayne Haskins? Doesn’t seem like it on this day, as the rookie QB throws three picks.
Week 7: at Buffalo Bills, Oct. 20, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Bills 24, Dolphins 9. A stretch of three road games in four weeks begins poorly. Josh Allen runs for two touchdowns and throws for a third.
Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Oct. 28, 8:15 p.m., ESPN.
Prediction: Steelers 34, Dolphins 31. The Dolphins get up for their only prime-time game of the season, but Big Ben Roethlisberger still has a bit of magic in his old body, leading a late rally.
Week 9: vs. New York Jets, Nov. 3, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Dolphins 21, Jets 14. Chosen Rosen keeps the Dolphins off the precipice and spoils former Dolphins coach Adam Gase’s return to South Florida.
Week 10: at Indianapolis Colts, Nov. 10, 4:05 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Colts 41, Dolphins 20. Annnnnnd, back to reality. Rosen struggles in his first road start, and Andrew Luck shows the value of an elite QB.
Week 11: vs. Buffalo Bills, Nov. 17, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Bills 17, Dolphins 12. Buffalo continues its surprise push to the playoffs, getting just enough from Josh Allen to sweep the season series.
Week 12: at Cleveland Browns, Nov. 24, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Browns 28, Dolphins 20. The Jarvis Landry Bowl goes to the home team, with the ex-Dolphins Pro Bowler scoring twice in the win.
Week 13: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 1, 1 p.m., Fox.
Prediction: Eagles 31, Dolphins 10. The freefall continues, with Carson Wentz helping build his MVP resume at the expense of an injury-ravaged Dolphins defense.
Week 14: at New York Jets, Dec. 8, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Jets 23, Dolphins 14. Gase finally gets payback against the team that fired him 11 months earlier, and the Dolphins’ skid continues.
Week 15: at New York Giants, Dec. 15, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Giants 24, Dolphins 9. Five consecutive losses becomes six, as Daniel Jones gets his first NFL win against a team certain to soon draft their own first-round QB.
Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 22, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Dolphins 26, Bengals 6. The race for the No. 1 pick very well could come down to this game, but Dolphins players are in no mood for tank talk.
Week 17: at New England Patriots, Dec. 29, 1 p.m., CBS.
Prediction: Patriots 41, Dolphins 10. Tom Brady plays great this week so he can take next week off. New England secures yet another first-round bye.