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Dolphins Week 12 Power Rankings Roundup

The Miami Dolphins remained an almost unanimous top five team coming out of their bye week

The Miami Dolphins moved into first place in the AFC East during their bye week and remain a consensus. top five team in the national NFL power rankings.

In our weekly survey of 10 national power rankings from national outlets, all but two rankings had the Dolphins in the top five and three had them at number 3.

In our survey of rankings of those 10 national outlets —CBS Sports, NFL.com, The Athletic, The Sporting News, The Ringer, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Yahoo, and Pro Football Talk — the Dolphins averaged a ranking of 4.6 among the 32 NFL teams, slightly up from their average of 4.7 after Week 10.

Here's the breakdown of the Dolphins' 10 power rankings spots, along with the commentary associated with it:

CBS Sports

Ranking: 3 Previous: 4

Analysis: They come off their bye in first place with a winnable game at home against the Texans. The defense was much better in the game before the bye, so they need that to carry over.

NFL.com

Ranking: 7 Previous: 4

Analysis: Dolphins management is on a heater in their personnel game. Recent draft picks like Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle are looking like masterstrokes, while Tyreek Hill has lived up to his gaudy price tag on a weekly basis. Now look at the rebuilt backfield: Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert — both 49ers reserves a year ago — have formed a formidable 1-2 punch that's helped make Miami's sizzling attack unstoppable. Wilson — acquired at the trade deadline — has been especially productive, accounting for 215 total yards and two touchdowns on 31 touches in his first two games in teal. Mike McDaniel has a growing bag of toys that would make Santa jealous.

The Athletic

Ranking: 3 Previous: 3

Analysis on what to be thankful for (two bye weeks in a row): Though, to be fair, a difficult three-game road stretch follows this week’s “game” against the Texans: at San Francisco, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Buffalo.

Pro Football Talk

Ranking: 4 Previous: 5

Analysis: They didn’t play, and yet they bumped up a spot. (TuAnon will still find a way to complain.)

Yahoo Sports

Ranking: 4 Previous: 4

Analysis: The Dolphins return to action this week with ... a home game against the Texans. So they get a bye week after their bye week.

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Sports Illustrated

Ranking: 9 Previous: 9

Analysis: The Dolphins come off their bye week with a gift of a matchup against the Texans. While teams have been able to figure them out situationally, roster attrition around the league and overwhelmed defensive coordinators everywhere are ultimately powerless against their suite of playmakers.

ESPN

Ranking: 4 Previous: 4

Analysis (on underachievers, special teams): Yes, the Dolphins' defense hasn't met its lofty expectations entering the season, but outside of punter Thomas Morstead, Miami's special teams have been one of the worst units in the NFL. Jason Sanders has hit just 76.5% of his field goals this season, leaving Miami with the fifth-worst field goal rate in the league. The Dolphins also are averaging a league-worst five yards per punt return and allowing a league-high 30.15 yards per kick return. There have been highlights, like a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in Week 9, but there are plenty of areas for improvement as the season enters its final stretch.

The Ringer

Ranking: 4 Previous: 5

Analysis: Tua Tagovailoa, Mike McDaniel, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle are the topics of every Dolphins conversation right now, and rightfully so. The offense is electric. But it’s also distracted us from just how much the team’s defense has underperformed this season. Miami ranks 22nd in points allowed per game and 26th in defensive success rate entering Week 12. They blitz a lot but rank just 29th in pressure rate when they blitz. They run a lot of man coverage but rank 25th in yards per attempt allowed in man coverage. The tenets of coordinator Josh Boyer’s defense aren’t hitting, and the Dolphins are giving up points in droves because of it. The Dolphins are fortunate the offense is primed for a shootout every week because they’ll have no choice but to play in them against the top AFC teams in the postseason.

The Sporting News

Ranking: 3 Previous: 4

Analysis: The Dolphins enjoy a bye to rest their speedy overall offense with the dynamic receiving and rushing duos of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert. They will look to close out their dazzling surprising first season under Mike McDaniel with an AFC East title.

USA Today

Ranking: 5 Previous: 5

Analysis: First-place Miami comes out of its bye week ... to start another bye week with the Texans coming to town. Then things get real on season-long three-game roadie to visit the 49ers, Chargers and Bills.

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