Projected record: 8–8
A .500 record for the Dolphins—a team that made the playoffs last year—may seem surprising, because Adam Gase is one of the best young coaches in the game, and Ryan Tannehill is much better than people give him credit for. But keep in mind that the Dolphins have to face the AFC West and NFC South this year. Miami’s 8–8 record is more out of respect to its opponents than it is disrespecting what the Dolphins are building.
Pivotal game: Week 10 at Panthers. A win in Carolina would prove me wrong (I think the Panthers will win here) and help Miami head into its late by in Week 11 with positive momentum ahead of its monstrous slate of games out of the bye—the Dolphins get the Patriots, Broncos and Patriots in consecutive weeks after their week of rest.