Stephen A. Smith ranks Miami Dolphins as best team in NFL this season

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Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After the first three weeks of the 2023 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins are 3-0, and they’re the only undefeated team remaining in the AFC.

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith is so impressed with how they have begun the year that he has them first on his list of the best teams in the league.

“I can’t even think about their defense,” said Smith. “I know it was 20 points that the Denver Broncos scored. But Miami had 70. Vic Fangio is coaching their defense. We understand what he can do on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, you got Tyreek Hill, you got [Raheem] Mostert, you got Tua Tagovailoa. Excuse me, they didn’t even have Jaylen Waddle. Do you understand what I’m talking about here? … The Miami Dolphins might go down as the most prolific offense in the National Football League in recent memory.”

Everyone has been raving about the Fins after they totally embarrassed the Broncos on Sunday, putting up 70 points in one of the most scintillating offensive displays anyone could ever remember seeing in pro football. They had 35 points at halftime while leading by 22, and they kept pouring it on afterward while showing no mercy.

Tagovailoa was seemingly unstoppable, completing 23 of 26 passes and throwing for 309 yards and four touchdown passes without an interception. Hill led the way in the air with 157 receiving yards, while Mostert scored three touchdowns on the ground and running back De’Von Achane added 203 yards and two touchdowns.

The fact that Miami was that dominant without Waddle, who had 164 yards in his first two games, is even more amazing.

The only other NFL teams that are still undefeated are the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, whom Smith placed second and third, respectively, on his list.

So far this year, Miami is first in both points and total yards, and although it caused Broncos QB Russell Wilson to struggle in Week 3, its defense is still a work in progress. Some of that could be attributed to the fact that veteran star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, whom it traded for during the offseason, is out until December with a knee injury.

But if the team continues to put up 30-plus points with regularity and its running game continues to be very productive, it may be able to get away with a mediocre defense, at least for a period of time.

The Dolphins will have a very challenging game coming up in Week 4 on the road against the Buffalo Bills. They will also have tough road games in Week 7 and Week 9 versus the Eagles and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has followed the NFL since he was a little kid in the mid-'90s, back when Dan Marino was the biggest sports star in South Florida. He feels strongly that the NFL and sports in general aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.