The Miami Dolphins have once again switched head coaches, but the story is the same: they're waiting for Ryan Tannehill to break out and they're trying to become a more consistent team. Adam Gase, an offensive coach with a talent for developing quarterbacks, was brought in and this truly seems like the sink or swim year for Tannehill.
Gase has been an up-and-coming coach for some time, and he's likely not on the hot seat if the Dolphins are in hot water this season. All the same, everybody in Miami would be happy if Tannehill, an average to above-average quarterback over the years, blossomed into the franchise player the Dolphins want him to be.
If getting started off on the right foot is the goal (it is), the Dolphins will have their hands full in their season opener against the NFC West's Seattle Seahawks. On top of that, the game is at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, one of the toughest places in the league to play. The fans are always loud, they always come in numbers and the Seahawks are very good on their home turf.
Not to mention the Seahawks are just, in general, very good.
Players like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner form the core of what makes the Seahawks great, though the offense will be interesting to see without Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. Lynch decided to call it a career after last season and the Seahawks are rolling with Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls, an undrafted free agent a season ago who surprised with his strong play.
Rawls dealt with an ankle injury throughout the preseason, but after he managed 830 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in his 13 games with the Seahawks a season ago, he is primed for a bigger season. He posted a 5.6 yards-per-carry average as a rookie. It was a strong draft class at the position, but it's still surprising that kind of talent made it all the way through the draft without getting picked.
He'll face a Miami defensive front with a ton of money invested in it, though most of that goes to Ndamukong Suh, the former Detroit Lions defensive tackle. Suh's play started out poorly last season and many were questioning Miami's decision to give him such a massive contract, but he came on strong in the latter half of the season and made the defense better for it.
On the other side, the Dolphins will have Arian Foster starting at running back. Foster had a ton of success with the Houston Texans, but injuries over the past few seasons have limited him. When healthy though, he's looked like one of the premier backs in the NFL and should give the Dolphins a nice boost as long as he holds up.
The last time he played significantly was in 2014, when he had 1,246 yards on 260 carries, a per-carry average of 4.8 yards. He'll look to give Tannehill some help as the Dolphins offense tries to establish its identity.
Seattle and Miami will play in the afternoon on Sunday, with kickoff set for a little after 4:05 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on CBS, with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts on commentary. The only way to live stream the game is via Sunday Ticket.
How to watch Dolphins vs. Seahawks on Sunday
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Online Streaming: Sunday Ticket