Miami’s Super Bowl Model: The 2000 Baltimore Ravens?

3 Aug

Chad Henne could blossom into the second coming of Dan Fouts. Daniel Thomas could be the next Earl Campbell. Clyde Gates could be Desean Jackson Part Deux. But if we’re talking about a shot at a nice postseason run, that will most likely fall on the shoulders of Mike Nolan and the SoFlo Sea Mammals’ talented, young defense.

The Miami Dolphins were the 30th scoring offense in the NFL last year, at 17.1 points per game. We attempted an insane 41 field goals. We punted 73 times. A remarkable 114 of our 172 possessions ended with kicks of one kind or another. 33 more possessions ended with turnovers. We scored 25 touchdowns in 172 chances on the season. By tragic comparison the Patsies had 25 six-pointers by Halloween.

So though we’ve imported some new pieces, the maestro of the offense remains in place. The shuffling on the o-line continues. We expect some improvement on the scoring front, but we also expect the fortunes of the 2011 Miami Dolphins to rest in large part on the shoulders of the D.

And what a defense this can be. Lost in the #6 overall ranking? 19 dropped interceptions. 19, folks. This is a young defense. Only one starter is in their 30s, and Yeremiah Bell’s potential replacements are already in Davie. A versatile, healthy Jared Odrick steps in as a bonus first-rounder for Nolan to scheme with. And the unit didn’t stand pat either, importing Kevin Burnett from San Diego to replace Channing Crowder. Veteran Will Allen also returns from injury to add depth at CB.

Are we capable of reaching the heights attained by that legendary Ravens D? They allowed just over 10 points per game, and forced 61 turnovers. Yes folks, that’s almost four turnovers per game. Their offense only scored 29 TDs (four more than the 2010 Dolphins), yet they went on to win the Super Bowl. We may never see a squad that good again.

But if our youngsters continue to develop, and if start making the plays we almost made in 2010, this squad will be elite. And if that happens, even a modest improvement by this offense could make a huge difference.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

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