Every NFL season, there are whispers of teams that could surprise everybody and win a championship.
They are teams on the rise that put it together and make a championship run.
My prediction for this year’s sleeper Super Bowl team: the Miami Dolphins.
In my opinion, the Dolphins are primed for a huge year.
Ryan Tannehill has finally come into his own as a quarterback.
Last year, he threw for 4,045 yards and 27 touchdowns while only throwing 12 interceptions.
This year, Tannehill has way more weapons at his disposal.
The Dolphins drafted WR DeVante Parker in the first round this year, and also added TE Jordan Cameron through free agency.
Also bolstering the WR corps this year are newcomers Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings, while the returning Jarvis Landry is poised for a breakout year.
Surrounding Tannehill with all of these weapons can only help him improve on his 2014-15 numbers.
The Dolphins are also set at running back for this season.
Lamar Miller is looking to improve on his stat line of 1,099 yards last year, while adding eight touchdowns in the process.
Miller is also another young, promising player who will be on the rise this year.
Rookie Jay Ajayi was also poised to contribute this year, but an injury will sideline him until the middle of the season.
Filling Ajayi’s role as the backup running back will be Damien Williams.
These players wouldn’t get anything done on the field if there wasn’t a good offensive line in front of them.
Lucky for them, the offensive line features many capable starters.
Left tackle Brandon Albert does a great job of protecting Tannehill’s blind side, while center Mike Pouncey is the anchor of the whole offensive line.
I’ve been talking up the offense quite a bit, and rightfully so.
But I want to go back to the old mantra in any sport: Defense wins championships.
Guess what? The Dolphins have plenty of that as well.
Headlining the Dolphin’s defense is a defensive line that is one of the best in the NFL.
The Dolphins made a huge splash in free agency, signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Suh had 8.5 sacks as a Detroit Lion the year before.
Combine him with Cameron Wake and his 11.5 sacks last year, and you have one of the most formidable defensive line duos in the NFL.
The third man on the line, defensive end Olivier Vernon, chipped in 6.5 sacks last year.
Miami has a decent linebacker group, headlined by middle linebacker Koa Misi and outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
Miami has had a good secondary, until safety Louis Delmas was lost for the season with a knee injury. Now, even more pressure will be on cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Jamar Taylor.