Let’s face it, the Miami Dolphins have been nothing short of atrocious to kick off the 2019 NFL season, going 0-2 with huge losses against the Ravens and Patriots. But is the unquestioned worst team in professional football decent enough to beat a college team like Alabama, or are the Tide capable of rolling over these “pros” like the NFL has thus far? Conner Gilson and Jorge Eckardt discuss.
Normally I would laugh at anyone saying a college football team, even of Bama’s caliber, could beat a professional football team. But for the first time ever, I am actually starting to believe it could happen if the Dolphins played Alabama this year. Let’s bring up some statistics surrounding Miami’s horrific start to the season, the first being lucky number 102. That is how many points the Dolphins have allowed through their first two matchups against the Ravens and Patriots, a number that is tied for the most points allowed in that span in NFL history. The Fins’ defense might as well not be on the field giving up that many points. But if you think that is bad, let’s take a look at their offense, led by ex-Bucs hero, Ryan Fitzmagic. Let me tell ya, they have been anything but magical, totaling 439 yards between the two games and racking up just 10 points. To put this into perspective, Ravens “QB” Lamar Jackson and lead running back Mark Ingram alone totaled 431 yards in the season-opener, just eight shy of the Dolphins two-game sum. The offense is terrible, and the defense is somehow worse, so what is stopping Nick Saban and Alabama from competing and even walking away with a win against the worst team in the NFL in the past several years?
Every year this question seems to arise, and every year there is a sect that tries to convince everyone that it is possible. Every. Single. Year. And every year, the rest of the population has to remind them how crazy they sound, so here we go. A college football team simply isn’t good enough to beat an NFL team. I don’t care if the college team is the ‘01 Miami Hurricanes, the ‘04 USC Trojans, the ‘05 Texas Longhorns or any given Alabama team from the last decade, they don’t have the firepower to even beat the ‘08 Lions or ‘17 Browns. And yes, the Dolphins are really, really, really bad this year, but their team is still made up of NFL talent. According to the NCAA website, just 1.9 percent of college football players make it to the NFL. Yes, for a school like Alabama that number is significantly larger, but it is still a shockingly small percentage. A CBS Sports article from 2015 said that 41 percent of Alabama starters from 2005-13 were taken in the NFL draft. Respectable, but that means there is still a significant portion of their team (over half of their starters and most of the bench) that isn’t NFL talent. Want to wager a guess on how many of the players on the Dolphins made the NFL? It’s not a trick question, one hundred percent of them did. Case closed.
I get it, stats (and boy did you use a lot of them) would say that this shouldn’t even be a competition; the Dolphins are an NFL team after all and therefore have to be better than a college team. The truth is though, you can’t always rely on the numbers to decide who wins. Just look at the 2007-2008 Patriots. So, while on paper the Dolphins obviously win, nothing is certain, especially when your starters at QB, RB and WR would be coming off the bench on any good NFL team. Just because he is on an NFL team doesn’t mean Devante Parker, the Dolphins WR1, can’t and won’t get shut down by Bama’s defense. And it does not mean that Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins RB1, doesn’t get shut down by the Crimson Tide’s front line of defense that has allowed just 12 points per game thus far. And Bama’s offense is nothing to shy away from either. Led by Tua Tagovailoa, who has drawn comparisons to Russell Wilson, their offense has racked up 159 points over three games, with the Heisman runner-up totaling 1007 yards passing with 13 total touchdowns and no interceptions. Surely, he would be able to make something happen against the Dolphin’s questionable secondary. I am by no means saying that it is a guarantee that Alabama wins, but I would venture as far as to say there is a chance they would based on how both teams’ seasons have started.
What perturbs me the most about your argument is the complete lack of respect shown to some of the Dolphins players. Yeah, the offense struggled, but they struggled against the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, two teams that as of right now look like they’re going to meet in the AFC Championship game (if they can get by Patty Mahomes of course). If you don’t think that Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 15-year NFL veteran, can’t tear up a defense full of people that wouldn’t come close to cracking the Ravens’ or Patriots’ practice squads then you’re just plain delusional. Bama is good, but they’re just not up to NFL standards. That’s not a slight either, they shouldn’t be. If they were, they’d rip through college football with ease and win the National Championship by 60 points. If you moved the Dolphins into the NCAA, they’d do just that. Just stop with this silly take. It was fun to talk about a couple years ago, but at this point it’s just getting old. Also, on a side note, unrelated to the rest of the argument, put some respect on Lamar Jackson’s name. Shame on you.
Thumbnail photo credited to The Associated Press.