Have the Dolphins closed the gap on the Patriots?

The Miami Dolphins  had one goal in mind this offseason: Catch-up to the Patriots.  Make no mistake about it, the Dolphins improvements this offseason were aimed at making the roster better, but the ultimate goal is to build a consistent winner.  To become a consistent winner, the Dolphins will need to catch the Patriots and surpass them.  Let’s face it, as much as we all hate the Patriots, they have been absolutely dominant in the AFC East since 2001.  Since then, the Patriots have won the AFC East 10 of the last 12 seasons.  They’ve also had double digit wins in 11 of those 12 seasons.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

A large part of that success is the successful combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  We all hate them both, but there is no denying how good their Patriots teams have been.  Early on in their dynasty, the Patriots had both a great defense and a future Hall of Fame quarterback.  Now their defense is their weakness, but they still have an All-World quarterback who leads a face paced offense.  The Patriots defense is not great, but they do enough to keep the Patriots in games.

So the big question is whether or not the Dolphins have made enough moves this offseason to close the gap on 4 time reigning AFC East champions?  The truth is that we won’t know until the 2013 season plays out.  In 2012, the Patriots went 12-4, while the Dolphins struggled to a 7-9 record.  That’s a 5 game gap, which is huge.  Even if the Dolphins improved the talent on their roster enough to win 10 games, that still might not be enough to win the AFC East, unless they can beat the Patriots on the field.

It’s way too early to start predicting how the schedule will play out.  However, we do know which teams both the Dolphins and Patriots will play.  Their schedules are the same for 12 of 16 games.  Two of those different games are the 2 teams playing each other.  The other two different games are when the Dolphins play the Colts and Chargers, while the Patriots will play the Broncos and Texans.  So, there is some hope that the Dolphins could pick up a game there.  (CLICK HERE, continued on page 2)

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