Staff predictions: Which Dolphins will show up in season finale against Bills?

What are our Miami Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins host the Buffalo Bills in the regular-season finale?

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10), makes a catch on a pass from Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17), in front of Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28), and runs into the end zone for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter agains the Buffalo Bills during their NFL game Sunday October 23, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

Miami has nothing to play for. In fact it’d be much, much better for Miami to lose and increase its chances of a higher draft choice. It would be nice if Jarvis Landry finished the day atop the NFL in catches. It would be nice if Kenyan Drake could post another 100-yard game. Let’s just fast-forward to 2018.

Bills 27, Dolphins 17


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

The Dolphins have nothing to play for other than spoiling the Bills’ season by keeping them out of the playoffs, and crazy things can happen in that kind of scenario. Miami might end up playing a bunch of young guys out to prove themselves, and those players won’t care that this game has no impact on their team’s standing. Also, it’d be the most Dolphins thing in the world to win a game that doesn’t matter, finish 7-9 and drop in the draft order.

Dolphins 31, Bills 28


Hal Habib, Beat writer

So I’m supposed to predict what happens to a team that’s unpredictable when it has something to play for, let alone when it has nothing to play for? Maybe the Dolphins have a little spoiler in them — they’ve certainly spoiled football season for South Florida — but I’ll go the safe route and take the team with legitimate incentive.

Bills 28, Dolphins 21


Dave George, Columnist

Looked back to find my preseason prediction of 8-8 for the Dolphins, which was based on Jay Ajayi’s running and DeVante Parker’s development as a wide receiver. Um … well … at least I was right about saying that Jay Cutler was nothing special. Have to go with Miami, just to honor what turned out to be an overly optimistic projection overall.

Dolphins 19, Bills 17

Post staff predictions: Dolphins have solid shot to end losing streak vs. Broncos

What are our Miami Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins play host to the Denver Broncos in Week 13 action at Hard Rock Stadium?

Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) is tackled by Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) and Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (98) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on November 23, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Joe Schad, Beat writer

The Broncos are third in the NFL in total defense but 27th in scoring defense. This is bizarre. Basically, Denver’s offense is so bad, it gives up points when it’s on the field. And Denver’s defense gives up more passing touchdowns per game than anyone in the NFL. This is promising for Jay Cutler, and I’m sensing big plays for Kenny Stills. The Dolphins average 1.6 sacks per game and have had more than one in only four of 11 games. I’m calling for four or five Miami sacks in this one.

Dolphins 28, Broncos 24


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

This might actually be fun to watch. Both teams turn the ball over like crazy, which makes for an unpredictable afternoon. Jay Cutler is back for the Dolphins, and no one seems to know whether that’s a good thing. Somehow Miami will work its way into a couple touchdowns and a field goal by the Jupiter Juggernaut to break its five-game losing streak.

Dolphins 17, Broncos 10


Hal Habib, Beat writer

I vowed I wouldn’t pick the Dolphins again until they actually, you know, won a game. But what’s left of my brain cells this goofy season is screaming that I cannot pick a road team on a seven-game skid. To add life to a matchup of teams with a combined 12 straight losses, please, please, please yank the best QBs in the stadium (Dan Marino, John Elway) out of the skyboxes and let ‘em do it one more time.

Dolphins 16, Broncos 12


Dave George, Columnist

I know the Broncos are a mess, but until Miami actually beats somebody it will be difficult to get behind them against anybody anywhere. Jay Cutler’s return certainly doesn’t inspire confidence, especially when you realize that his last performance featured three interceptions against Tampa Bay. And that was in the first half alone.

Broncos 20, Dolphins 16

Post staff predictions: Visiting Dolphins likely to get rolled by Patriots

What are our Miami Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins travel to New England to face the defending Super Bowl-champion Patriots in Week 12?

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) gets in a final word with the Patriots offensive line during the last minute of the Dolphins win over the Patriots at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on January 3, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Joe Schad, Beat writer

How likely is it that Tom Brady will attack Cordrea Tankersley, Xavien Howard and Kiko Alonso in the most ruthless way possible? How likely is it that Miami has a hard time containing Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett (if healthy)? How likely is it Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia determine just the right way to attack Miami’s reshuffled line with Ted Larsen at LG, Jesse Davis at RG and Sam Young at RT? I think Miami actually covers the insane point spread. But a win? Not happening.

Patriots 27, Dolphins 16


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

The Dolphins defense has struggled over the last month or so, but this is the week they get back to how they played early in the season when everyone believed they were among the top-10 in the league. It’s a good time for a breakthrough, too, because Miami needs it to save the season. A fifth straight loss would crush any aspirations this team has left.

Dolphins 24, Patriots 21


Hal Habib, Beat writer

Yes, the Dolphins have won only three of the past 16 trips to Foxborough. They’re underdogs by two touchdowns plus. A lot of people think they have no chance, apparently forgetting that Wildcat game years ago. All the Dolphins have to do this Sunday is …. Had you going for a minute, did I? Sorry, ain’t happening, Dolfans.

Patriots 36, Dolphins 13


Dave George, Columnist

The Dolphins gave the Patriots a good push last year in a 31-24 loss at Gillette Stadium, but that was Ryan Tannehill vs. Jimmy Garoppolo. Not feeling quite as confident now about whoever Adam Gase sends out there against Tom Brady. Miami has lost so much steam it will be a surprise if this game is in reach past halftime.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 17

Post staff predictions: More struggles on tap for Dolphins vs. Panthers on MNF

What are our Miami Dolphins writers expecting on Monday night when the Fins travel to Carolina to face the Panthers in the Week 10 finale?

[RELATED: Dolphins vs. Panthers: How do they match up in Week 10?]

Miami Dolphins fans during the second half of the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Final score: Oakland Raiders, 27, Miami Dolphins, 24. (Andres Leiva / The Palm Beach Post)

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis may be the best linebacker duo in the NFL. This is a problem because they can hunt Jay Cutler, attack Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams on rushes and after receptions and disrupt all those short passes to Jarvis Landry. Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short is a monster. Miami’s best chance on offense is taking deep shots to DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. But will Cutler have the time required to do that?

Panthers 28, Dolphins 13


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

The Dolphins are in danger of falling below .500 for the first time this season, but never fear, the Jupiter Juggernaut is here! Miami kicker Cody Parkey will redeem himself from the recent missed extra points and go a perfect 6 for 6 on field goals to outlast Carolina and deliver the Dolphins their biggest win of the year.

Dolphins 18, Panthers 17


Hal Habib, Beat writer

I put a lot of stock in a good offensive line. And the fact is, the Dolphins will never have their ideal starting five on the field this year. Just as Ted Larsen gets healthy, Ja’Wuan James packs up for the year. Not a good time to be playing the league’s No. 1 defense.

Panthers 24, Dolphins 17


Dave George, Columnist

Cam Newton isn’t having a great passing year, but at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, he isn’t afraid to take off running for third-down conversions and goal-line payoffs. Altogether, this looks like a tight and somewhat ugly affair, with little room for error by the error-prone Miami offense.

Panthers 19, Dolphins 16

Post staff predictions: Raiders have edge over still-recovering Dolphins

What are our Miami Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday night when the Fins host the Oakland Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium?

Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

Jay Cutler has broken ribs. Jay Ajayi has been traded. I can see Amari Cooper causing issues for Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. I can see Khalil Mack causing problems for Ja’Wuan James and Jermon Bushrod. I can see tight end Jared Cook causing problems for Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons. Something hasn’t seemed right this week. I think Miami plays hard, but comes up short to fall to 4-4 at the midway point.

Raiders 24, Dolphins 21


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

Are the Raiders good? Are the Dolphins good? Is any of this real? The AFC has two or three really good teams, two really bad ones and a bunch in the middle. That’s where Miami and Oakland fall. Either one could make the playoffs or land a top-10 draft pick. The difference comes down to who’s healthy, who’s at home and who catches some breaks. Look for this one, the first Sunday Night Football game in South Florida in seven years, to tip the Dolphins’ way.

Dolphins 20, Raiders 17


Hal Habib, Beat writer

Every time I’m certain the Dolphins are in such a fix there’s no way they won’t get hammered, they surprise me (Bengals game in 2013, Steelers last year). Well, I think they’ll get hammered. Just can’t picture this team rebounding from a 40-0 loss and the Ajayi trade this quickly. Khalil Mack storming toward Jay Cutler’s ribs is a frightening thought.

Raiders 27, Dolphins 17


Dave George, Columnist

What can the 3-5 Raiders do? Well, Derek Carr threw for 417 yards and Amari Cooper caught 11 passes in a shootout win over Kansas City a few weeks ago. Miami can’t take anyone or anything for granted right now with a banged-up Jay Cutler at quarterback and a muddier picture at running back.

Raiders 24, Dolphins 19

Post staff predictions: 75 percent of reporters say Dolphins will bounce back vs. Titans

What are our Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins host the Tennessee Titans in their home opener in Week 5?

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), runs away from Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) during fourth-quarter action of their NFL game Sunday October 9, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Well, 75 percent of them (OK, it’s just three out of four, but still…) think Miami can pull out a win at Hard Rock Stadium. Let’s get to their breakdowns:

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

The Dolphins are home. Finally. What a relief. Even if Marcus Mariota were to try to play, his running abilities would be curtailed. The Dolphins have been angry this week. They’ve been pent up. They were reeling, but there is a sense they have regrouped. Miami is better against the run (I see you, William Hayes). And I sense this is a week Miami returns to the ground-and-pound formula that worked so well last season.

Dolphins 34, Titans 13


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

Both teams badly need this one as they try to keep themselves on track to contend for the playoffs, and the Dolphins would be in very bad shape for that at 1-3 with a trip to Atlanta coming next week. Tennessee is a mess with Marcus Mariota injured and its defense coming off a 57-point embarrassment against the Texans. Look for Miami to calm things down with a win.

Dolphins 20, Titans 10


Hal Habib, Beat writer

The Titans’ two-headed running attack of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry worries me, but the Dolphins run defense has passed every test thus far. Pause. Did I just write that first sentence? Guess so, which speaks volumes about this strange season. I am counting on the Miami offense to finally show some pulse in a game the Dolphins desperately need.

Dolphins 20, Titans 17


Dave George, Columnist

Until the Dolphins score again, I cannot pick them to beat anyone, including a Tennessee team that allowed 57 points last week. As Jay Cutler said Wednesday, “Just like any other NFL team, if we flop it out there the way we have the last two games, they’re going to eat us up.”

Titans 17, Dolphins 13

Post staff predictions: Dolphins should ground Jets with ease

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) sends New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) to the turf for a sack late in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on November 6, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

What are our Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins travel to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets in Week 3 of the regular season?

[RELATED: Dolphins vs. Jets: How do they match up in Week 3?]

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

The Jets stink. Like really, really stink. And that’s the way they like it. They’re trying to lose. I mean, they want to lose. As much as possible. Oh, and the Jets? They stink.

Dolphins 31, Jets 10


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

Miami toasted the Jets last December, and guess what: New York’s much worse now than it was then. The Jets look like they’re trying to finish as close to 0-16 as possible, and the Dolphins will be happy to help with a blowout win today. If they play great, it’ll be a rout. If they’re just OK, they’ll still win by double digits.

Dolphins 34, Jets 10


Hal Habib, Beat writer

You know what they say about rivalry games like this — you can throw out the records. Fans up in Jersey would rather throw out the Jets, whom Bruce Springsteen had in mind when he wrote, “It’s a town for losers, we’re pulling out of here to win.” Jay Ajayi could thunder to another 200-yarder as the Dolphins continue their worldwide tour with another win.

Dolphins 30, Jets 20


Dave George, Columnist

Good to get the New Jersey trip out of the way in September, before the slush and snow arrive, and good to see that the Jets are trying — in general — to get every game out of the way. They rank 29th in the league offensively and 30th on defense. That’s pretty rank.

Dolphins 30, Jets 19

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Fantasy Fins: Why Jay Ajayi might not have a huge game against the Jets

Dolphins confident they can win close games — and they have

Miami Dolphins’ go-to guy in the red zone? No one

Post staff predictions: Dolphins reporters confident in win over Chargers

Philip Rivers #17 and King Dunlap #77 of the San Diego Chargers look on after an interception during the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

What are our Dolphins writers expecting on Sunday when the Fins travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers in Week 2 of the regular season?

STAFF PREDICTIONS

Joe Schad, Beat writer

I’m worried about the damage Chargers end rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram may do to Laremy Tunsil, Ja’Wuan James and quarterback Jay Cutler. The last thing Cutler needs is to be on his back five times or to give up a sack-fumble in his Dolphins debut. As much as Miami’s defensive line may cause issues for the Chargers, the start to this season has been too much of a whirlwind for the Dolphins. Too much rust. Too much drama.

Chargers 16, Dolphins 10


Jason Lieser, Beat writer

There are a lot of external factors in this matchup — the Dolphins’ relocation due to Hurricane Irma, the Chargers playing their home opener and first game in Los Angeles since 1960, etc. — but the simple conclusion is Miami’s the better team. Look for a big day from Jay Ajayi.

Dolphins 30, Chargers 27


Hal Habib, Beat writer

Of all the times I’ve ventured into this dangerous territory of predicting Dolphins games, none made me more nervous than this one. Who knows how they’ll respond to being displaced? To not having a game to work out the kinks, unlike the Chargers? To Year 2 under Adam Gase? To perhaps lifting the spirits of their fans back home? I’ll roll the dice …

Dolphins 24, Chargers 21


Dave George, Columnist

A bonus week of practice couldn’t do Jay Cutler any harm in preparation for his first Dolphins start. That’s as close as I can get to saying something positive about Hurricane Irma. Also looking for a strong opening performance by Jay Ajayi against a Chargers defense that is working on a short week after Monday night’s loss to Denver.

Dolphins 28, Chargers 23

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[Fantasy Fins: DeVante Parker has major upside in Week 2 vs. Chargers]

[‘No one has any clue’: Behind the scenes of Miami Dolphins’ instant move across country]

[Which Miami Dolphins rookies are likely to play special teams on Sunday?]

[Miami Dolphins issue final injury report for Los Angeles Chargers game]

Marino or Csonka: Which was the Dolphins’ best NFL draft class ever? (Final Round)

Dolphins Honor Roll members Dan Marino, Don Shula and Larry Csonka at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 21, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The arrival of Larry Csonka, the most beloved battering ram in Dolphins history.

The 1-2 punch of Richmond Webb and Keith Sims, who were to the offensive line what the 1-2 punch of A.J. Duhe and Bob Baumhower were to Miami’s defense for ages.

A 1969 draft that had a massive impact on The Perfect Season.

Those are some of the greatest drafts in Miami Dolphins history. Yet they all come with a huge question mark: Can any rival Miami’s 1983 draft class, notable for a certain quarterback from Pittsburgh who became one of the biggest steals in NFL draft history?

We now open balloting to determine the greatest draft class in Dolphins history, with all eyes on the ’83 bunch led by, of course, Dan Marino.

We’re down to the four best draft classes, but now we turn things over to you.

Have at it, Dolphins fans!


This round of voting will run until 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening.

No. 1 seed: 1983
Top pick: QB Dan Marino
Later picks:  NT Mike Charles (2), DE Charles Benson (3), P Reggie Roby (6), LB Keith Woetzel (7), WR Mark Clayton (8), LB Mark Brown (9), RB Anthony Reed (10), G Joe Lukens (11), WR Anthony Carter (12)
Number making roster: 6
Felonious steal: Besides the obvious, try P Reggie Roby in Round 6, WR Mark Clayton in Round 8 and LB Mark Brown in Round 9. Amazing to consider Clayton lasted until the 223rd pick; more amazing to consider in the current draft format, he wouldn’t have even been drafted.
Can I get a mulligan? DE Charles Benson (3)
Straight talk: Football gods have never forgiven the Dolphins for landing Marino with the 27th overall pick, forcing Miami to endure a QB jinx of harrowing proportions best measured in Cubs years. Now we’re left to wonder if LT Laremy Tunsil (13th in 2016) will someday secure the No. 2 slot in all-time Dolphins thefts.

vs.

Larry Csonka [left] and Jim Kiick [right].
No. 2 seed: 1968
Top pick: FB Larry Csonka
Later picks: T Doug Crusan (1), LB Jimmy Keyes (2), TE Jim Cox (2), DT Jim Urbanek (3), DB Dick Anderson (3), RB Jim Kiick (5), QB Kim Hammond (6), WR Jimmy Hines (6), T John Boynton (7), LB Randy Edmunds (8), T Sam McDowell (9), DB Tom Paciorek (9), T Joe Mirto (10), T Cornelius Cooper (11), T Paul Paxton (12), DE Bob Joswick (13), TE Ray Blunk (14), LB Ken Corbin (15), DT Henry Still (16), C Bill Nemeth (17)
Number making roster: 12
Felonious steals: S Dick Anderson (3b), RB Jim Kiick (5)
Can I get a mulligan? LB-K Jimmy Keyes (2a) played only 1 1/2 seasons, never started and made less than half of his field-goal tries. May we instead suggest QB Ken Stabler (52nd overall to Raiders) as eventual trade bait, since Miami took Bob Griese in ’67?
Straight talk: This draft produced four key members of the ’72 team (including OT Doug Crusan, also picked in Round 1). We can chew on how Zonk, the Hall of Famer, lasted until the eighth pick, but what about Anderson, still one of the finest safeties the team has ever had and the 1973  defensive player of the year, as Miami’s second third-round pick? Just be thankful the Dolphins acquired that pick via trade with San Diego for QB Jon Brittenum (and yes, we mean THE Jon Brittenum).

Again, this round of voting will run until 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening.