News & Analysis

Miami Dolphins 2018 Season Recap

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

During the NFL season, our team of 300-plus staff spend around 20,000 man-hours grading and analyzing every play of the NFL season, from the kickoff in the Hall of Fame game to the final play of the Super Bowl.

Now that the 2018 season is officially in the books, we can now take a look back at the season through the eyes of each NFL team and using the grades and statistics that we have compiled, we and detail what went right, what went wrong, and explain what that team has to look forward to.

Below is the 2018 season recap for the Miami Dolphins.

Overview

The Miami Dolphins may have been the closest thing in the AFC East to challenging the New England Patriots, but they still finished with a losing record and ended up firing their head coach Adam Gase at the end of the season.

What went right?
  • The ageless wonder that is Frank Gore finished with the highest grade among AFC East running backs and continued to be productive despite some poor blocking up front.
  • It wasn’t all bad news for the offensive line, as Ja'Wuan James and Laremy Tunsil finished as the division's top tackle duo – each with a top-three mark on Miami's offense.

  • Another ageless wonder, Cameron Wake may have slowed down, but still notched 54 pressures and led the team, as did his overall grade.
  • Elsewhere on defense, cornerback Xavien Howard was solid in coverage, allowing just a 62.6 passer rating when targeted, though his play wasn’t as spectacular snap to snap as his interception total would suggest.
What went wrong?
  • Miami linebackers missed a slew of tackles over the year. Kiko Alonso & Raekwon McMillan missed 11 and 13 tackles, respectively, and had sub-70.0 tackling grades on the year. Alonso mainly struggled in coverage though, allowing 70.7% of passes into his coverage to be caught for 638 receiving yards.
  • On offense, the team could find no real firepower with middling wide receivers, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished with a 45.3 overall grade –  last in the NFL.
Highest-graded offensive player

Despite being way past the point where running backs typically reach the end of their useful career, Frank Gore continued to be productive and impressive on his snaps, earning an overall grade of 81.4.

Highest-graded defensive player

Edge rusher Cameron Wake was once again the team’s best-graded player on defense, earning an overall mark of 81.6, notably down from his best play, but still impressively effective given his age.

Breakout player

Former top pick Laremy Tunsil finished with career-highs in overall, pass-blocking and run-blocking grades in a career-year.

Key rookie

CB Minkah Fitzpatrick struggled in overall grade at just 61.9 (hurt by 14 missed tackles) but was in the top 10 among the league's corners in passer rating allowed (69.0) and top 15 in yards allowed per snap from the slot.

In conclusion

After years of trying to match the Patriots, Miami have turned to the Patriots' coaching tree, bringing in Brian Flores as their new head coach. With plenty of questions in need of answering, he has an interesting first year ahead of him.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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