Does Tyreek Hill Make The Dolphins A Contender In 2022?

Tyreek Hill speaks with the media after being introduced by the Miami Dolphins at Baptist Health Training Complex on March 24, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins showed some promise during the 2021 season, putting together a seven-game winning streak late in the campaign (after starting 1-7).

Although they missed the playoffs by a slim margin, young promising players such as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle have given Fins fans considerable hope.

Now, that hope has turned into excitement after the team sent several draft picks to the Kansas City Chiefs for Tyreek Hill, one of the most dynamic wideouts in the game.

It has Dolphins fans thinking that the squad will not only return to the playoffs this coming season but also perhaps make a run at the Super Bowl.

Is that a reasonable expectation for Miami?

The Dolphins Will Have Much More Talent In 2022

Waddle had a strong rookie season, recording 104 receptions, 1,015 yards and six touchdowns.

But now he won’t have to be the main man, as Hill will stretch the field and prevent opposing secondaries from being able to key in on Waddle.

As perhaps the NFL’s premier deep threat, Hill, nicknamed “Cheetah” for his blazing speed, will be able to give the Dolphins some big-yardage plays this coming season, especially in key situations.

Another factor will be new running back Raheem Mostert, who spent the last several seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

Mostert had to share the wealth in coach Kyle Shanahan’s running back by committee system, but he will likely get more touches in Miami, as the team lacks the depth of tailback that the Niners have enjoyed.

Mostert will also be reunited with Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins’ new head coach who was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator.

The former Purdue Boilermaker is coming off a major knee injury he suffered in Week 1 this past season, and he only played eight games the year before due to multiple ailments.

Another newcomer, three-time Pro Bowler offensive tackle Terron Armstead, will also look to improve an offense that ranked just 22nd in points scored and 25th in yards gained.

The difference in talent from last year to this coming year is almost night-and-day for Miami.

The AFC Will Be Loaded

But a major obstacle between the Dolphins and their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1984 season is the immense strength of the rest of the conference.

The Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills have all made major additions and all look to be championship contenders themselves.

In addition, the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals won’t be going anywhere, while the Tennessee Titans are still looking strong.

In Miami’s own division, the New England Patriots have a strong defense and a young QB in Mac Jones whom many see potential in.

It may be difficult for the Dolphins to simply make the playoffs, let alone win the conference.

It All Depends On Tua

In the end, the Dolphins will only go as far as Tagovailoa takes them.

He hasn’t really put it together yet, although he has shown flashes of who he could become.

Year 3 is a very important year for NFL QBs, at least those who haven’t fully blossomed yet, and Tagovailoa will need to blossom like a giant springtime rose.

Plenty of people don’t believe he will get it done.

On the other hand, there are now whispers that Tom Brady wants to engineer a trade to the Dolphins.

If the Fins get elite or near-elite level play from their quarterback, whether it’s Tagovailoa, Brady or someone else, they’ll have a puncher’s chance of going far. Otherwise, there will be a glass ceiling over them that isn’t high enough to fit the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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