Okay Dolphins fans, you can start out by watching your season preview above if you’d like…I’ll make some reference to your team a bit later.
It is now officially August, so I have officially decided to allow you all to bug me with football talk from here out. For months I’ve fought against it, asked you all to just take a few months vacation and leaving me alone about a game I wasn’t going to see for months…especially seeing as it’s MY season, baseball season.
Well, again, I now will allow it. So without further ado, I will begin my own football talk! Here are a few pressing questions I have for the NFL teams in the great football state of Florida. (College comes tomorrow)
1. Can the Dolphins survive the hype and get over the 8-8 hump?
I really think this is finally the year for Dolphins fans to have some bragging rights. I said it before the Brady suspension was even upheld, and whether Brady plays Weeks 1-4 or not, I still think the Miami Dolphins will win the AFC East.
The additions were finally smart additions for the Dolphins. You can’t deny what Suh adds to an already solid defensive line. Cameron Wake already lived in Tom Brady’s nightmares…now he has Suh to help torture my beloved Pats.
This is not a reverse jinx, not do I want it to be. The Patriots are ripe for the picking right now and the Bills and Jets have no quarterbacks. Both have great defenses, but you still have to score to win. The Dolphins will score, and they will be able to blanket the Jets and Bills defensively.
Final AFC East Standing Prediction:
2. Patriots- WC Birth
4. Still Not Yets (Jets)
2. How much does Jameis Winston improve the Bucs?
A lot, but not enough to make them a playoff team NOW.
This doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same old story…or at least the story of the past few years. I don’t see the Bucs challenging for the #1 overall pick in 2015, that’s your first sign of positive. I also don’t see them competing for a division title…so there’s a negative issue.
I do however see a HUGE improvement from the Bucs. We know the talent is there on the defensive side of the ball, and now with a full season and full off-season under Lovie Smith, I can’t see any way this defense doesn’t become one of the better defenses in the league.
You take that defensive improvement and add a real QB to that offense, and I can’t see how this team doesn’t improve by 6+ games. That means 8-8 or better. Yes, .500 records are boring…but going from 2 wins to 8 wins is a MASSIVE improvement. With their schedule, I wouldn’t be shocked if they won 9-10 and made a play for a Wild Card spot…or if the division plays like it did in 2014 maybe they can win the South.
Final NFC South Standings Prediction:
3. Can Blake Bortles solidify himself as a legitimate NFL quarterback?
That all depends on the Jags offensive line.
Unlike some, I’m not ready to utter the “bust” word…because it’s been 1 year and that’s ridiculous. I do however know that there is need for improvement, regardless of the quality of the offensive line.
Bortles has dealt with harsh criticism mainly due to his footwork. His amazing final season at UCF did play a major role in him ending up at #3 in the draft, but his potential played an equal part in my opinion. That potential needs to be realized.
Yes, if he’s kept upright more often, he’s going to have a better shot at showing his worth, so it is on the line in some way…but even with a horrible line, there are ways to show improvement. Smarter passing decisions, use of his deceptively clever legs and of course, less interceptions.
Again, the offensive line must improve. I’ve said it I think four times now, for those who are going to be mad at me.
I will say now, I see a massive improvement not just with Blake, but with the Jags as a whole.
Final AFC South Standings Prediction:
So same as last year for AFC South, but I see a new .500 Jaguars team in 2015 and a legitimate playoff contender in 2016. Mark it down.
That’ll do it for my pre-season pressing questions, stay tuned for tomorrow’s College edition with UCF, FSU, UF and yes Miami! Also prepare yourself for a weekly Jags and UCF (separate) blogs as football gets underway.
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at ditti@740TheGame.com!