It’s back to the drawing board for Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins after their season ended with a thud. One year after winning 10 games and ending a 7-year playoff drought, the Fins are back on the outside looking in. There were many issues that caused the Dolphins to regress this season, but the most glaring was the loss of Ryan Tannehill during training camp.
Gase was reunited with Jay Cutler after the two had a breakthrough in their last year together in Chicago, but it wasn’t enough to get the Fins back to the postseason and they’ve reached the playoffs just twice in the past 16 seasons. It’s easy to say the inconsistent play of Cutler was the reason why the Fins faltered, but there’s much more to the story. The team was top-heavy at every position and lacked the depth once the injuries started to hit. The numerous off-field issues were likely a distraction, too, even though Gase said otherwise.
The run game was a non-factor all season and prompted the trade of Jay Ajayi at the deadline. It seemed like a puzzling move at the time, but the deal allowed Kenyan Drake to take over and prove his worth as a key player moving into next season. Drake had just 42 carries through the first 11 games, but after being elevated to the No. 1 spot, he produced 369 yards in the last four games and scored all three rushing touchdowns by a back. Cutler likely won’t return in 2018 after he inked a one-year deal following Tannehill’s injury. David Fales got a good look in the finale to see if he’s an option for a backup spot heading into next season.
2017 Record: 6-10
2017 ATS Record: 5-9-2
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 8-8
Current Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Current Odds to Win AFC: N/A
Current Odds to Win AFC East: N/A
Week 17: Bills 22, Dolphins 16
ATS Result: Bills -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41.5
Fales took over after one series and was uninspiring until nearly directing a fourth quarter comeback. The Fins trailed 22-9 midway through the fourth when Fales threw for a touchdown and ran for another on consecutive possessions to make it close. The Dolphins recovered the onside kick following the last score with less than two minutes remaining, but Fales was picked off to end the threat, sending Miami to its third straight ATS loss.
Week 16: Chiefs 29, Dolphins 13
ATS Result: Chiefs -11
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43.5
Miami put together a decent game but failed to contain Kansas City’s big play threats while having too many of its own drives end. The Fins went 0 for 8 on third-down and missed twice on fourth down. Giving the ball up that many times allowed the Chiefs to score five field goals and cover the 11-point spread.
Week 15: Bills 24, Dolphins 16
ATS Result: Bills -3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 39.5
Three second-half Cutler interceptions all but ruined the chance of Miami getting a victory, yet they still made the Bills sweat. Drake scored midway through the fourth to get the Fins within 24-13 and Cody Parkey nailed a field goal with 39 seconds left to go over the closing total. Miami recovered the onside kick only to have Cutler throw his final pick on the first play of the drive, ending the comeback bid and sending Miami to the ATS loss.
Week 14: Dolphins 27, Patriots 20
ATS Result: Dolphins +10.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 48
The Dolphins didn’t flinch even after the Pats took a 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter. Cutler directed a drive that resulted in the go-ahead score on the ensuing possession and Miami never trailed after that as they won outright as a 10.5-point dog. After New England cut the deficit to 27-17 early in the fourth, the defense produced three straight three-and-outs and never allowed Brady to find a rhythm.
Week 13: Dolphins 35, Broncos 9
ATS Result: Dolphins +1
Over/Under Total Result: Over 41
Miami scored two safeties for the first time in franchise history, had a defensive touchdown and three offensive scores to rout the Broncos for the easy cover win. The Fins held the Broncos to 270 yards and didn’t allow an offensive touchdown in breaking a five-game losing streak. Jay Cutler’s scoring pass to Kenny Stills early in the fourth quarter pushed the score over the total for a seventh straight game.
Week 12: Patriots 35, Dolphins 17
ATS Result: Patriots -17
Over/Under Total Result: Over 49
Reshad Jones’ fumble return touchdown and an interception by Brandon McCain weren’t enough to slow down the Pats, who sent Miami to its third straight ATS loss. New England’s final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter was enough to cover the 17-point spread and cash the over.
Week 11: Buccaneers 30, Dolphins 20
ATS Result: Buccaneers -1
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44
The Dolphins fought back from a 20-7 deficit to tie the game on Moore’s scoring pass, only to watch the Bucs traverse the field for what was the game-winning field goal with just four seconds left, slapping a second straight ATS loss on the Fins. Over bettors got a miracle when the lateral-filled kickoff was fumbled away and recovered by the Bucs in the end zone for the final points.
Week 10: Panthers 45, Dolphins 21
ATS Result: Panthers -8
Over/Under Total Result: Over 38.5
It’s hard to say one play changed the outcome of this rout, but there was one critical mistake that cost Miami. The Fins were down 10-7 late in the first half and just forced a Panthers punt when Cutler was intercepted. Carolina turned that into a touchdown to extend its lead at the break and the second half was disturbing. The Dolphins had no answer and Carolina ran all over them in the second half, piling on the yards and points to hand Miami the ATS loss.
Week 9: Raiders 27, Dolphins 24
ATS Result: PUSH Dolphins +3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44.5
A late touchdown and two-point conversion allowed the Dolphins to push for a second time this season, but they couldn’t recover the onside kick and the Raiders eked out the victory. It didn’t come without chances, though. Miami recovered an onside kick earlier in the game and recovered a fumble, but neither chance turned into points. The passing game clicked with Cutler going over 300 yards, but running the football remains an issue.
Week 8: Ravens 40, Dolphins 0
ATS Result: Ravens -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 38
With no scoring help from the Dolphins offense, the over cashed for a second straight game. That’s because Moore tossed a pair of pick-sixes and the ball was bouncing in favor of the Ravens the entire game. Miami managed fewer than 200 yards of offense and didn’t come close to sniffing the end zone.
Week 7: Dolphins 31, Jets 28
ATS Result: PUSH Dolphins -3
Over/Under Total Result: Over 40
The Dolphins avenged a Week 3 loss to the Jets by overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit with Moore at the controls. He tossed a pair of scoring passes to go along with Cutler’s two to cash the over for the first time. Another late game pick allowed the Fins to get the victory, but they failed to cover the spread with the game ending in a push after Cody Parkey’s game-winning 39-yard field goal.
Week 6: Dolphins 20, Falcons 17
ATS Result: Dolphins +14
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46
The offense showed signs of life with Cutler throwing two second half scoring passes and the Dolphins amassed a season-high point total in just two quarters. They showed character overcoming a 17-point halftime deficit to win on the road, covering the spread for a second straight game. Thanks to a defense that held the Falcons scoreless in the second half, the under improved to 5-0 on the year.
Week 5: Dolphins 16, Titans 10
ATS Result: Dolphins PK
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41.5
The defense matched the offensive production and it was enough to give the Dolphins a cover win. Reshad Jones alertly returned a fumble for a touchdown on a play that everybody else thought was an incomplete pass, staking the Fins to a 10-0 lead. Cutler and the offense came through in the fourth after Tennessee tied the game, tossing a TD pass to Jarvis Landry for the game-winning score. It was just the third offensive touchdown of the season putting the under at 4-0.
Week 4: Saints 20, Dolphins 0
ATS Result: Saints -4
Over/Under Total Result: Under 51.5
Once again it was a silent offensive performance by the Dolphins, who couldn’t avoid getting blanked this time as the under moved to 3-0. The Fins got to the Saints 4-yard line on the opening drive, but Cutler was picked in the end zone, squelching that opportunity. The Dolphins wouldn’t get closer than the Saints 40 the rest of the game. The defense was solid, but again caved as the offense failed to sustain anything. The Fins allowed 17-second half points and failed to cover for the second straight week.
Week 3: Jets 20, Dolphins 6
ATS Result: Jets +5.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43
Miami never got untracked and was doomed from the get go in this one. The Dolphins managed just 49 total yards and three first downs in the first half with all six drives ending with a punt. The D kept it close, but got no help and eventually faltered as the Fins failed to cover. The Fins’ only score came on the final play and wasn’t enough to reach the total. They also missed the PAT to cap off a frustrating afternoon.
Week 2: Dolphins 19, Chargers 17
ATS Result: Dolphins +3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46
Credit the Dolphins for their resiliency. Their opener was rescheduled and they spent a week in SoCal to escape Hurricane Irma, all the while preparing for a football game in the Chargers’ new yard. They overcame the elements and a 17-10 second-half deficit to score the game’s final nine points off the leg of Parkey to get the outright win.
Week 1: BYE
Preseason Record: 2-2
ATS Record: 2-2
Over/Under Total Record: 4-0
The Dolphins were successful last season in close games winning eight times by a touchdowns or less and that needs to continue for another winning season. There are too many weaknesses to battle the Patriots for a division crown, but the offense is loaded with weapons and if Cutler can rekindle the touch he had two seasons ago, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t put up enough points to reach the postseason.
Week 1: Dolphins vs. Buccaneers, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 2: Dolphins at Chargers, Sunday, September 17, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Dolphins at Jets, Sunday, September 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Dolphins vs. Saints, Sunday, October 1, 9:30 a.m. ET – FOX
Week 5: Dolphins vs. Titans, Sunday, October 8, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 6: Dolphins at Falcons, Sunday, October 15, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 7: Dolphins vs. Jets, Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 8: Dolphins at Ravens, Thursday, October 26, 8:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Dolphins vs. Raiders, Saturday, November 5, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 10: Dolphins at Panthers, Monday, November 13, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Dolphins at Patriots, Sunday, November 26, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 13: Dolphins vs. Broncos, Sunday, December 3, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Dolphins vs. Patriots, Monday, December 11, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 15: Dolphins at Bills, Sunday, December 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Dolphins at Chiefs, Sunday, December 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 17: Dolphins vs. Bills, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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