Connect with us

Miami Dolphins

The NFC East has been a blessing and a curse for the Miami Dolphins

Shawn Digity



Miami Dolphins New York Giants
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – The NFC East is a little worse for wear this year.

With the poor state of the NFC East, there’s a double-edged sword as it pertains to the Miami Dolphins.

Depending on how it swings, the lackluster NFC East teams have provided windfalls, but they’ve also been a hindrance for the Dolphins getting the most favorable draft selection.

How it will ultimately affect the Dolphins and their draft selection remains to be set in stone, but it’s at the point where the Dolphins, indirectly, are at the mercy of the Giants, Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys.

OK. That was overdramatic. The Dolphins can still come away with the second pick, which is significantly more achievable than holding out hope for the first, but the Giants and Redskins will surely make it a tall order.

As it stands, the Dolphins have the third overall pick, nestled between the Giants at two and the Redskins at four.

Now, all three teams have the same record: 3-11. Keep that in mind.

If you aren’t familiar with the next tiebreaking procedure and the ad nauseum tweets about it, the strength of schedule is the next go-to for determining the draft order.

The strength of schedule (SoS) was used in the Dolphins case to assign them the third pick. They currently have a 16-game extrapolated SoS of 0.491. The Giants have 0.473, and the Redskins have 0.493.

The Giants and Redskins are both in the NFC East. And their records have dragged down the overall record of the division.

It just so happens that the NFC East has the lowest divisional winning percentage of any other grouping at 0.357.

There haven’t been any clear-cut competitors in the NFC East divisions this year. All the teams have scratched and clawed for the division throne, and while the Giant and Redskins are out of that picture now, the Eagles and Cowboys are still trading punches at 7-7.

Since the Dolphins played all four of the NFC East teams, all four of their overall records will factor into the Miami SoS. Strength of schedule is the winning percentage of all the opponents played of a given club.

Earlier in the season and on paper, any NFC East team who lost would slightly decrease the Dolphins SoS, and the lower, the better for tiebreakers that come down to SoS.

But with a division that loses a lot of games, there’s bound to be teams that just straight-up have a terrible overall record. And that’s precisely the case. The Dolphins are in a round-robin with the Giants and Redskins in the top-five of the draft order.

And here’s the next problem.

While their overall records are not only terrible, the Redskins and Giants get a double bonus from the sad state of their division. They’ll end up playing each other twice. Therefore, all those losses will matter doubly for all the NFC East’s SoSs.

It’s a significant contributor to the Giants edging out the Miami Dolphins in the SoS race by 0.18, and the Redskins being right behind them by only 0.002. They could surpass the Dolphins depending on how Week 16’s games shake out.

The NFC East has played a role in the Dolphins landing slightly ahead of the Redskins in the draft order. But in the same swing, it has allowed the Redskins to stay within striking distance.

It’s almost paradoxical. Needless to say, other teams have helped establish the Dolphins SoS. Still, the Miami Dolphins have gotten three losses out of their four NFC East games and also been the beneficiary of the most-losingest division in 2019.

As I mentioned already, the Redskins, Giants, and Dolphins are all tied at 3-11, and there are two games left in the season.

The Dolphins still play the Bengals and the Patriots, the Giants play the Eagles in Week 17, and the Redskins play the Cowboys in Week 17.

The Giants and Redskins play each other this week. It’s the perfect microcosm of this article.

Let’s assume the Dolphins lose to the Bengals. The next best thing would be for the Giants to beat the Redskins. That would give the Giants a better overall record, and the Dolphins could leapfrog them based on that. I wouldn’t plan on the Dolphins getting a low enough SoS to pass them if they continue to have the same record.

But it’s up in the air whether the Dolphins or Redskins would get the second pick because of the proximity of their SoS to each other.

There are only intradivisonal games left for the NFC East, but while there was a time and place for the benefit of their overall records for the Dolphins tiebreakers, we’re now dealing with the trade-off.

The state of the NFC east is more a roadblock than it is a boon now. But it would’ve had more practical applications if there weren’t two 3-11 teams and two 7-7 teams.

Here’s the hope. It has nothing to do with the strength of schedule anymore. Any NFC East loss that would typically help the Miami Dolphins SoS will now be one step forward and two steps back.

Giants and Redskins wins are the most important thing. The second pick is still reasonably within reach since the low record variability between the Giants, Redskins, Eagles, and Cowboys could indicate an “any given Sunday” turnout.

Here’s a quick rundown of the NFC East factors that could shape the Dolphins most auspicious outcome:

  • Giants beat Redskins in Week 16
  • Eagles v. Cowboys in Week 16 can go either way
  • Giants beat Eagles in Week 17
  • Redskins beat Cowboys in Week 17

These are contingent on the Dolphins losing out, by the way. Dolphin wins will throw us all back into the whirlwind to Oz.





I am an Ohio University alum and I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for the last two years. I’ve been a Dolphins fan since I was a kid and I picked them because I liked the old-school logo. It grew from that as I got older and I luckily caught the tail end of Dan Marino’s career. It’s stuck ever since and now I’m an upstart, wild-and-free Dolphins beat writer, loving every second of it.



  1. Avatar


    December 23, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    “Still, the Miami Dolphins have gotten four losses out of their four NFC East games…”

    Incorrect. Fins defeated the Eagles.

    • Shawn Digity

      Shawn Digity

      December 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Good eye. That was an accident, thanks for pointing it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Miami Dolphins

Local Residents Sue Miami Dolphins over F1 Race Track

Jason Hrina



Image Credit:

This may be the last thing on the mind of Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, but there seems to be a prominent legal battle taking place in South Florida.

A new Formula 1 race track was recently approved (by a 6-6 vote) to be “built” around Hard Rock Stadium, with races beginning in 2021.

While city officials press to approve the new track, local residents are up in arms about the potential race. F1 cars are notoriously loud, and as we mentioned above, these races aren’t contained within an arena or stadium.

City officials believe this will bring in additional revenue for Miami and the surrounding area, as annual races are expected to be held around Hard Rock Stadium for the next 10 years. The local populous is arguing that these races are too loud for local streets, and will cause an enormous amount of disturbance and will be detrimental to the environment. Overall, this will cause a “serious degrade to their quality of life.”

Just so you can have a reference, F1 engines tend to run between 130-145 decibels. If you go to a concert and stand relatively close to an amplifier, you’re only dealing with about 100-110 decibels. The average lawn mower is about 90 decibels. Needless to say, these engines are LOUD.

Unlike NASCAR, Formula 1 (F1) race tracks are essentially “created” using local roadways that are already in place. Though there is obviously a lot of preparation that goes into “creating” the course (to ensure the safety of racers and fans alike), no new venues need to be built.

With that said, the City of Miami Gardens and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross are attempting to host the race solely on Hard Rock Stadium grounds. Given Ross’ ownership in the land surrounding Hard Rock Stadium, it’s possible this race doesn’t officially occur on any public roads.

To give some background, Stephen Ross attempted to buy F1 a couple of years ago, but the sale ended up going to another group. Though he didn’t win the bid, he reached an agreement with the new owners and is now one step closer to making the Miami Grand Prix a reality.

Tom Garfinkel, President and CEO of the Miami Dolphins, issued the following statement on behalf of the approved 6-6 decision:

This recent vote was the biggest hurdle potentially preventing the Miami Grand Prix from happening. Though the legal battles aren’t over, it seems unlikely that the decision to host F1 races will be reversed.

Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Sign Tight End Michael Roberts

Jason Hrina



Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are beginning to bulk up the depth of their roster as they head into free agency.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Dolphins have signed tight end Michael Roberts. The exact terms of the contract are currently unknown.

Originally a 4th-round pick by the Detroit Lions, Roberts has served mostly as a backup tight end; accumulating 146 yards on 13 receptions in 23 active games between 2017-2018.

Roberts was placed on injured-reserve towards the end of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, and was traded to the New England Patriots for a conditional 2020 7th-round pick prior to the 2019 season. Due to medical reasons, the trade was voided a couple of days later.

The Green Bay Packers claimed Roberts off of waivers, but he was subsequently released by the Packers two days later for failing a physical. Roberts was not active for any games in 2019.

Signing Roberts doesn’t necessarily mean the Dolphins aren’t going to pursue tight ends in free agency or in the draft. Mike Gesicki is the only “lock” to make the 2020 roster, as Durham Smythe‘s blocking ability might not survive if the Dolphins find themselves in an advantageous situation at the position.

Look at this as a way for Miami to get ahead of evaluations.

Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

A second Dolphins mock draft from someone who doesn’t watch football

Shawn Digity



J.K. Dobbins 2020 NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

(Locked On Dolphins) – Last week, Person A dazzled us with their blind mock draft, and now we’re back with the next entry in the series.

Person B is ready to go with their mock.

Keep in mind that all the blind mock draft contributors have little to no knowledge of the NFL.

I had all the contributors standardize their boards and the process so that everyone was on an even playing field.

They all used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator with seven rounds, the predictive board, and had to choose the players manually.

Without further ado, here’s Person B’s mock draft.

(1) 5. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
(1) 18. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
(1) 26. Terrell Lewis – Edge, Alabama
(2) 39. Lloyd Cushenberry III – iOL, LSU
(2) 56. Xavier McKinney – S, Alabama
(3) 70. Rashard Lawrence – iDL, LSU
(5) 135. Chase Claypool – WR, Notre Dame
(5) 144. Justin Herron – OT, Wake Forest
(5) 147. Terrell Burgess – S, Utah
(6) 165. Lamar Jackson – CB, Nebraska
(6) 177. Jacob Breeland – TE, Oregon
(7) 223. David Reese II – LB, Florida

As I did with Person A, I reached out to Person B to get their reasoning behind the selections.

Me: “I noticed that you took Tua [Tagovailoa]. What led you to that decision with the fifth pick?”

Person B: “I knew the Dolphins wanted to get a QB, and Tua has been talked about so much that I just went with him.”

Me: “Which of your other selections did you feel particularly good about?”

Person B: “I need you to send me the link to my draft. I forgot who I picked since it took five attempts.”

[resends mock draft to Person B]

“I like my J.K. Dobbins pick. O-H-. And Rashard Lawrence. Because I figure he’s pretty good since LSU was really good this year.”

Me: “Your picks are really good. I’d put yours ahead of Person A. But it’s almost suspiciously good. Did you put your thumb on the scale somewhere along the line?”

Person B: “Well, by my 5th attempt (1 and 2: I didn’t select manual mode, 3: I didn’t pick 7 rounds from the drop-down menu, 4: I completed, but the site froze, and I lost everything), I figured out that I should probably pick from the top of the list first because if you don’t then those players just go like hotcakes.

So, I just matched up the positions the Dolphins needed to fill with the players highest on the list, and if I recognized a name or team, I would select them over someone I had never heard of.”

Me: “OK, well, we’re all out of time. Do you have any parting messages for Dolphins fans?”

Person B: “Well, I think the Dolphins are on the right track, and I hope that all of the true blue fans who have hung in with them for all these years will get to see another Super Bowl in the near future. GO FINS!”

And that wraps things up with Person B.

What are your thoughts on Person B’s mock draft? Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts at me directly on Twitter (@DIGITYnodoubt).

Tune in next time for Person C’s mock…

Continue Reading