Bets during Baseball Season 

Finding Out if the Dolphins are Good

Everything we think we know during the summer months is really just a guess. Last season the Cleveland Browns were ready to take the next step, and the Bengals were still considered to be the worst team in the AFC North.

By the end of the season, both of those narratives had been turned on their heads.

This year one of the top picks to take the next step is the Miami Dolphins. Jaylen Waddle showed stardom in his rookie season, now they’ve added Tyreek Hill, and Tua Tagovailoa is fully healthy and said to have the game perfect for the wide receivers he now has.

This is also a defense with cornerback Xavien Howard, which automatically gives them a leg up on stopping anyone else’s offense.

But are they really good? The games have started, and we can go from what we think we know to what we actually saw against the Patriots. And early returns are positive.

Mike McDaniel’s Offense

Former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel brings in his experience with the 49ers wide zone run-first offense, and is combining that with the RPOs that Tua was so good at for long stretches last season. And now they’ve added a touch of quick passes in space to take advantage of the superior speed and YAC ability of his wide receivers.

I think we learned that the Patriots aren’t very good, but their defense is still solid, and the defensive mind of Bill Belichick is still as sharp as ever. But using the unique metrics provided by the stats people at Cold, Hard Football Facts, the Dolphins offense held their own. They ranked ninth in Offensive Passer Rating and ninth in Real Passing Yds/Attempt.

It would have been far better had Tua not missed so many throws, or if the offensive line had held up better, but the pieces of a good offense are clearly in place. And with McDaniel scheming things up from week to week, they are going to be a very interesting offense to watch going forward.

Not Yet the Killer B’s

Outside of linebacker Jerome Baker, there aren’t many B’s on this year’s version of the Dolphins defense. So they aren’t exactly a recreation of the Killer B’s defense that was so good for Miami in the early 1980s. But with a DVOA after one week that is just behind the Ravens, and an EPA per play that ranks third in the NFL, only trailing the Bucs and the Bills, the early reports on Josh Boyer’s defense are very good.

The stats from Cold, Hard Football Facts also conquer, ranking Miami fourth in Bendability and third in Total Team Yards Allowed.

The Dolphins showed a solid pass rush against New England, getting sacks from Emanuel Ogbah and Brandon Jones, and second-year safety Jevon Holland got his third career interception.

If this group holds up against Lamar Jackson this Sunday, we will declare them one of the better units in the AFC.

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