The Miami Dolphins ended the 2019 season with a 5-11 record, yet there’s plenty of reason for optimism. After entering the year with one of the worst rosters in the league, head coach Brian Flores found a way to get the most out of every single player on the roster while building up draft capital for the future. Let’s take a look back on the 2019 Miami Dolphins report card and see how each position performed, and what Dolphins fans can expect moving forward.
2019 Miami Dolphins Report Card: The Defense
The Miami Dolphins did not have a good defensive line in 2019. According to Football Outsiders, the unit ranked dead last against both the run and the pass, which is obviously not ideal. While the overall product wasn’t great, there are a few silver linings. The Dolphins acquired Taco Charlton off waivers and the former first-round pick ended up leading the team in sacks. Christian Wilkins wasn’t the most consistent player in the world but he showed a few glimpses of what made him so special in college. John Jenkins had a solid season, but everyone else along the defensive line was replacement-level. Just like with the offensive line, don’t be surprised if there’s a high amount of turnover next year.
As you’d expect from a defense that ranked so poorly against the run, Miami’s linebackers weren’t exactly terrific in 2019. Jerome Baker led the team in tackles with 125, but that doesn’t mean he played well. Despite his tackle numbers, Baker struggled against the run and wasn’t anything exceptional against the pass. Raekwon McMillan had a solid season and was probably Mami’s best run defender, but everyone else left a lot to be desired. Just about every starting spot should be up for grabs in 2020.
Xavien Howard was supposed to be the star of Miami’s secondary, but the talented cornerback landed only played in five games and is now facing charges for domestic battery. With Howard gone, the Dolphins had to turn to the likes of Ken Webster, Nik Needham, and nobody managed to answer the call. The lone bright spot was Eric Rowe, who actually played some solid football after converting to safety.
It’s only one season, but head coach Brian Flores appears to be the right man for the rebuild. After the organization traded away Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil, it would’ve been easy for Flores to lose the locker room. Instead, Flores managed to unite the team and drag a talent-deprived roster to a relatively impressive 5-11 record. While these wins may have taken the team out of the Joe Burrow sweepstakes, Dolphins fans can rest easy knowing that they have the right man leading the team for the foreseeable future.
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