Miami Dolphins enter top 5 as ESPN’s latest power rankings are released

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, with Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season in the books, ESPN released its latest NFL power rankings. After ranking sixth in ESPN’s preseason power rankings, the Miami Dolphins have entered the top five.

“There aren’t many new faces on this team, but [DeShon] Elliott made an impact as the Chargers’ running backs repeatedly reached the second level of Miami’s defense,” wrote Marcel Louis-Jacques. “When he signed this offseason, it appeared he would rotate with Brandon Jones, but Elliott played all 76 defensive snaps in Week 1. The safety spot opposite Jevon Holland still figures to be a rotation, but Elliott might be the first man up if he continues to perform like that.”

ESPN has the Dolphins ranked as the fifth-best team in the NFL right now, behind only the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs are the only team ahead of the Dolphins with a 0-1 record, as they lost to the Detroit Lions last week by a final score of 21-20. The Cowboys, Eagles and 49ers won their Week 1 games against the New York Giants, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively.

The Dolphins’ Week 1 game was a road game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The contest went down to the wire, as the Dolphins were clinging to a 27-24 lead entering the fourth and final frame. But the Dolphins went on to win by a final score of 36-34.

Arguably the biggest reason why the Dolphins were able to pick up the win was thanks to a masterful performance from star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

Hill dominated the Chargers, as he racked up a whopping 215 receiving yards to go along with two receiving touchdowns in the Week 1 victory.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also performed at a high level. He threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns compared to only one interception. Additionally, he completed 28 of his 45 passing attempts, which equates to a 62.2 percent completion percentage.

Jevon Holland was arguably the team’s top-performing defensive player. He totaled a team-high 10 solo tackles and 14 combined tackles for the Dolphins. Elliott ended up with the second-most solo tackles on the team with eight.

Here’s to hoping that the Dolphins can continue their winning ways against the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday. Mac Jones and New England almost beat the Eagles last week, though, as they lost to Philadelphia by a final score of 25-20. Jones threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.