Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Miami Dolphins Week 4 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 4 roundup for the Miami Dolphins in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 5

Tua Tagovailoa is off to the start every Dolphins fan dreamed of in his third NFL season. He ranks second in the league in passing yards and is already halfway to matching his career high in touchdown passes with eight. He also leads the NFL in QBR and is second in yards per attempt. The new coaching staff and improved supporting cast around him seems to have unlocked the potential Miami saw when he was drafted No. 5 overall in 2020, and it's a big reason the Dolphins are the AFC's lone unbeaten team entering Week 4. -- Rank: 8

The Dolphins enter Week 4 alone atop the AFC East after a stranger-than-fiction 21-19 win over the powerhouse Bills. Miami's offense possessed the ball for just under 20 minutes against Buffalo, but the quick-strike attack made the most of its limited opportunities. The biggest play of the game came on a third-and-22 in the fourth quarter, as Jaylen Waddle split the Bills' secondary for a 45-yard gain that set up the go-ahead score. Throw in a survived Butt Punt and some clock-management and special teams failures by a previously impervious opponent, and you can say the Dolphins are living a charmed life right now.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 8

At 3-0, they are off to a great start. The offense didn't do a lot against the Bills, but the defense made many key stops. They have a tough game this Thursday at Cincinnati on a short week.

USA Today -- Rank: 5

During the offseason, they upgraded a playoff-caliber roster while concurrently creating an environment to test Tua Tagovailoa and determine whether or not he's a franchise quarterback (and he better be after Miami owner Stephen Ross' tampering led to forfeiture of one of next year's first-round picks). So far, appears Tua is precisely that – though it still seems Miami has more glaring flaws (run game, pass defense) than Buffalo in light of a somewhat fluky upset of the Bills in Sunday's South Florida steam bath.

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

What is the purpose of power rankings if not to reward a team for beating the former No. 1s while remaining undefeated? The Dolphins are probably not the best team in football through three weeks — that would be one of the two teams that follows — but they're definitely fun. They've won thanks to an offensive explosion, as they did in Week 2, and they've won thanks to aggressive, timely defense and a little luck, as they had against the Bills. Buffalo outgained Miami 497-212 on Sunday, ran 90 plays to the Dolphins' 39 and possessed the ball for 40:40 of 60 minutes. Only one other time in NFL history has a team possessed the ball for 40 minutes of a non-overtime game, ran at least 85 plays and gained at least 475 yards and lost — shoutout to the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, who were undone by Mark Brunell throwing five interceptions in a 17-14 loss to the Rams.

Buoyed by that Week 2 performance, the Dolphins lead the league in EPA per drive on offense and rank 25th in defensive EPA per drive, which probably undersells how good they've been. Heavy is the injured back that wears the crown, though, as a difficult trip to play the Bengals on a short week looms for Tua Tagovailoa and crew.

The Ringer -- Rank: 6

Mike McDaniel, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle have each been sensational, and Tua Tagovailoa is doing enough to maximize the opportunities he's getting in this NASA rocket of an offense. Tagovailoa completed 13 of 18 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins' Week 3 win over Buffalo, including a 45-yard strike to Waddle on third-and-22 in the fourth quarter. He finished the week ranked second in yards per attempt (10.33) and third in EPA per dropback (0.35). Tagovailoa still has limitations as a passer, and the 24th-ranked defense in EPA per play gives me pause. But there's too much going right with McDaniel on the sideline and with these offensive weapons to keep Miami outside of the top tier of AFC teams right now.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 6

The Dolphins defense was on the field for 90 plays in ridiculous heat against a Bills offense that wanted to spread it out and pass it all over the place. Now the Dolphins go on the road on short rest for a Thursday night game at the Bengals. They also have injury issues, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (though excuse me for not worrying too much about him playing through his, ahem, back and neck injury). If the Dolphins win in that situation, it will be really impressive.

PFT -- Rank: 6

To be the best, you've got to beat the best. And they did.

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