Our series on all 16 regular season matchups for the Washington Redskins begins with an AFC East opponent in Week 1...
Week One: Miami Dolphins(1PM, FedEx Field)
What Happened – For the sixth time in as many years, the Dolphins failed to win more than eight games or make the playoffs. The team did show promise. The young offense developed around quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Phins got off to a 7-4 start. However, they limped to an 8-8 finish after losing three of their last four games.
What’s New – Over the offseason, arguably the biggest NFL free agent, defensive tackle Ndomukong Suh, signed with the Dolphins on a six-year, $114 million deal. He’ll add a key piece to what was already a formidable defensive line. On the other side of the ball, Miami dealt leading receiver and premier deep threat Mike Wallace to Minnesota. While the offense may miss Wallace's home run style, the passing attack is now more diverse with the additions of rookie DeVante Parker, veteran Greg Jennings, speedster Kenny Stills, and vertical tight end threat Jordan Cameron. The new additions plus holdover Jarvis Landry makes for a very well rounded group of pass catchers for Tannehill.
Question for Training Camp – Although Brent Grimes is clearly the Dolphins’ number one cornerback, who will be behind him on the depth chart, and in what order is unclear. Jamar Taylor seems to have the early lead, but Zack Bowman, Brice McCain, and Will Davis are also in the running. Taylor has the rawest athleticism, but has not preformed well in his first few seasons in the league. Regardless, someone will have to step up across from Grimes.
Matchup to Watch – New Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan and his fast developing unit will be challenged immediately by the Dolphins offensive line. The likes of Suh, Cameron Wake, and Oliver Vernon provide a tough matchup for anyone. While the offensive line impressed at times last year, there are no true standouts besides left tackle Trent Williams. Rookie tackle Brandon Scherff may have trouble transitioning to the NFL, and the interior of the line has been somewhat inconsistent. The challenge against Miami could derail the group or make them stronger, depending on how they handle it.
Fantasy Focus – Tannehill seems to have finally developed into the quarterback the Dolphins expected him to be. He always had the intelligence and athleticism to play in the NFL, but had trouble with getting a feel for the game and making quick decisions. Tannehill now looks more comfortable moving around the pocket and playing like an NFL passer. With a new and diverse group of receivers and a running game that emerged late last season, Tannehill has what it takes to develop into a top-seven QB.
Let us know what you think is key for this season opening matchup in the Breaking Burgundy forums.