Every year, the 32 National Football League teams are supposed to start out on close to equal footing, at least in terms of talent. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken that position during his tenure. Many people believe the success of the New England Patriots and a handful of other teams would say otherwise. Professional gamblers and the odds posted by sports media suggest differently as well. One team is such a longshot that the odds it will reach the Super Bowl are 200 to 1.
To put that in perspective, the odds that the New England Patriots win the next Super Bowl are approximately 6 to 1, as ranked by several media and well-known expert gamblers. The 200-to-1 team is the Miami Dolphins, which had a regular season record of 7 and 9 last year.
Even with the Dolphin’s dismal performance, Miami remains one of the best cities for sports fans.
24/7 Tempo looked at results of a number of polls about what team would win Super Bowl 54, which will be played February 2 next year. These included ESPN, Oddsshark, CBS Sports, The Lines (which handles legal betting in New Jersey) and USAToday.
How far have the Dolphins fallen? It is worth remembering that in 1972 it was the only team in the history of the NFL to have a perfect season, which it capped by winning Super Bowl VII against the Washington Redskins by a score of 14 to 7. Their coach that year, Don Shula, still has the record of most wins by any coach in NFL history at 347. The Dolphins look nothing like the 1972 team. Yet that Super Bowl win so long ago has kept it off the list of the hardest teams to root for.
Why are the Dolphins such a weak team? One reason is that it has brought in a crop of new players, and the group is unimpressive. These include 36-year-old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has bounced around the NFL with little success. He has the distinction of being one of the few players in recent NFL history to have graduated from Harvard. Miami also lost a number of players, some of whom, like wide receiver Danny Amendola, are among the better players in the league at their positions.
The Dolphins were criticized for their efforts in the final chance they had to improve the team for the upcoming season. They did almost nothing to better their roster substantially during the NFL draft. Two other teams in their division, the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, got solid grades for their decisions.
The Dolphins also have a rookie coach. Brian Flores worked for Bill Belichick at New England. While Belichick is often mentioned as the greatest coach in NFL history, Flores is untried in the top position. First-year coaches rarely post strong performances. The Dolphins are among the NFL teams that always fire their coaches.