MIAMI, FL — Once again we find our beloved Dolphins in a terrible situation to start off another XCFL season.
Holding a (1-3) record at the bye week, we’re reminded that last seasons (0-4) followed a (9-7) record. Can the Dolphins rattle off a (8-4) record after the current bye week? We breakdown the possibilities.
The Dolphins came into this season after reaching a playoff birth last season for the first time under current management. This season is definitely going to put the Phins to the test. Their schedule is among one of the most difficult, facing the NFC South & AFC South.
Kicking off week 1 – @ New York Jets, the Phins looked prepared to start the season off right. Going into the fourth-quarter, the Dolphins had a 24-10 lead and blew it by not playing chew the clock football, instead they took a fall and lost 24-27. Ripkowski played poorly and posted not so good stats 6-16, 117 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT. The running game was non-existing with Drake posting 5 car, 8 yds, 1 rec, 64 yds, 1 TD. Not a nice way to lose to your division rival. Record (0-1).
Week 2 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s been a while since the Phins played the Steelers and it showed as they lost 20-7. Ripkowski again posted terrible stats 5-18, 56 yds, 4 INT. The running game got a little more on track with Drake 7 car, 44 yds. The defense lead by linebacker Stephone Anthony was named defensive player of the week 5 T-A, 1 Sck, 2 INT, 1 FF. Digging of the whole has just begun. Record (0-2) with a 10.9% chance of making the playoffs.
Week 3 – New York Jets, the Phins come home and head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Matt Burke challenge their team as they make changes to the offensive line and defensive personnel groups. The changes paid off and Phins got to scoring early and often. With a 31-7 win, things fell back into place. Ripkowski was considered a game manager posting 8-13, 108 yds, 1 TD and no team turnovers. Drake made significant improvements on the ground 21 car, 76 yds, 2 TD. The defense contributed to some scoring and things looked good in all three phase of the game. Record (1-2)
Week 4 – Houston Texans, Phins welcome in the well known quarterback guru Coach Boone and DeSaun Watson to Miami. This game got out of hand in a hurry and Ripkowski fell back to turning over the ball but got more work in garbage time with 10-20, 260 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT. Second year wideout Taran Howard (2nd Rd, Pick No.2) scored his first XCFL touchdown 3 rec, 113 yds, 1 TD. The Phins fall 31-13. Record (1-3).
The future outlook here is that the Dolphins will face when they return to the field in their remaining games. Their opponents today have a combined (23-21) record. Can they Phins pencil in at least two wins facing the New England Patriots (0-4)? We will just have to wait and see.
If the Dolphins don’t improve somehow before the trade deadline, don’t be shocked if high valued players are traded (Fitzpatrick, Quinn, Stills, James) away.