Buffalo Bills pass rush” (CC BY 2.0) by runneralan2004

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Miami Dolphins will be one of the most improved sides in the National Football League this season. The two-time Super Bowl champions struggled to inspire confidence last year but their performances towards the end of the regular season suggested that the Dolphins could come good in 2016. And with Adam Gase announced as the new permanent head coach, Miami may be on the verge of something special. After all, they certainly have enough talent in their roster to cause problems for the rest of the AFC East.

There’s an old adage in the NFL: Defence wins championships – and with that in mind, Miami surely stand a great chance of reaching the playoffs this year. In fact, you could argue that the Dolphins boast one of the best front sevens in the National Football League and quarterbacks will have sleepless nights before facing Ndamukong Suh and co. If you thought Miami’s defensive line was imposing last year, just look at their revamped unit now. With Suh, Kiko Alonso and Cameron Wake putting the pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Dolphins could force plenty of turnovers this year…

At the time of writing, punters can find Miami at 7/1 to go on and win the AFC East at sports.betway.be/fr and many fans will be expecting the Dolphins to at least lay down a challenge to their divisional rivals. On paper, this is one of the toughest divisions; with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets providing stiff opposition on a yearly basis. Miami have a poor record against their divisional opponents in recent times but Gase may be about to inspire the Dolphins to new heights in 2016.

However, he will need to completely transform Miami’s struggling offense. The Dolphins are in desperate need of some strong leadership on the offensive side of the ball and critics still have doubts over Ryan Tannehill’s ability to lead Miami back to the top of the NFL. And if truth be told, it is easy to see where the criticism comes from – Tannehill’s numbers over the last few years haven’t exactly been consistent. Many of Miami’s primary issues on the offensive side of the ball have cropped up directly because of him.

Right now, the Dolphins will fancy their chances of surprising their divisional opponents in 2016. Most people are expecting Miami to finish rock bottom of the AFC East but the squad could take advantage of the Tom Brady-less Patriots in the opening few weeks of the campaign; and victory over the 2014 Super Bowl winners will give Miami a huge confidence boost. If the Dolphins can get off to a good start, their defensive structure and scheme could see them go far – just look at what the Denver Broncos did last year with a sub-par Peyton Manning at quarterback.

It would be foolish to expect Miami to stroll to victory in the AFC East but it would be equally as irrational to condemn them to last place. The thing is, nobody really knows what to expect from the Dolphins this season – but with their strong defensive unit and focus on improving their stagnant offense, the AFC title isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. Adam Gase isn’t a miracle worker but he could be a fantastic head coach and Miami will be quietly confident of a successful season…