The Miami Dolphins prioritized the offensive side of the ball during the 2022 offseason, so it’s understandable that the Tua Tagovailoa-led group is getting most of the attention in South Beach.
Miami gave up a king’s ransom to acquire Kansas City Chiefs superstar receiver Tyreek Hill. They signed Terron Armstead and Connor Williams to upgrade the offensive line. Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel were signed to fix up the rushing game, and ex-Dallas Cowboy wideout Cedrick Wilson got a three-year deal following a career year.
The offense around Tagovailoa is that much better. And of course, stalwart tight end Mike Gesicki and rising star receiver Jaylen Waddle are still in the mix.
But Miami’s defense will be just as vital in their quest to ending a six-year playoff drought, and it starts with the dynamic secondary led by All-Pro corner Xavien Howard and second-year safety Jevon Holland.
Holland — a native of Coquitlam, British Columbia —is coming off a remarkable rookie year for Miami in which he racked up two interceptions, 10 pass defenses, three fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks.
Ontario became the first Canadian province to launch online sports betting back in April. In Ontario sports betting, customers can place wagers on sports like hockey, football, baseball, basketball and much more through sportsbooks such as BetMGM, PointsBet and DraftKings.
At DraftKings, Holland’s Dolphin’s have the second-best odds of winning the AFC East (+450), behind only the Buffalo Bills (-230). Holland’s teammate, Tagovailoa, has +5000 odds of winning the 2022 league MVP award.
Holland is among the top young Canadian-born NFL players in a group that also features Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Chase Claypool, Houston Texans receiver John Metchie III and Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard. If all goes well in South Beach this season, Miami fans will enjoy just the franchise’s second playoff appearance since 2009.
Holland Is Ready For A Monster Sophomore Season
The football world was stunned when the Dolphins fired Brian Flores as head coach, as the team finished 9-8 to post a second consecutive winning season.
Flores was a defensive assistant/play-caller on the New England Patriots’ coaching staff before getting hired by Miami. GM Chris Grier decided to hire the offensive-minded Mike McDaniel as Flores’ replacement; McDaniel was Kyle Shanahan’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco.
McDaniel takes over a Miami defense that finished 16th in scoring, 15th in yards allowed, tied for fifth in sacks (48 with the 49ers) and tied for sixth in takeaways (26).
Howard and Byron Jones form one of the NFL’s top cornerback duos, but the secondary is beautifully rounded out by the stellar play of Holland. Pro Football Focus ranked the Canadian-born standout as the No. 61 player for the 2021 regular season, having finished with a grade of 84.7.
Holland is a jack-of-all-trades defensive back who excels in all aspects of the field. He’s a takeaway artist, a slick cover man and a very effective pass-rusher when the Dolphins call for it.
Miami will need more of the same from Holland and the secondary if they’re to qualify for the postseason in 2022. They play in a loaded AFC that features a plethora of explosive quarterbacks that includes Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Mac Jones (New England Patriots), Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals), Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers), Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos) and Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs).
Last Thursday, Holland stated that he and linebacker Jerome Baker have been calling the team’s defensive plays.
“We’re switching it up between me and ‘Bake’,” Holland said, per Mike Masala of Dolphins Wire. “It’s not really set in stone right now. There’s more than one green dot, so we’re just going throughout trying different people.”
fter upsetting the Patriots in Week 1 of last season, the Dolphins endured a seven-game losing streak which saw them allow 26-plus points six times. The defense rebounded in the second half and propelled Miami to a seven-game winning streak, but a Week 17 loss to the top-seeded Tennessee Titans ended the playoff hopes.
In a stacked AFC, the Dolphins simply can’t afford to start out slow again. If the offense can make considerable improvements, it will ease plenty of the workload off the Howard and Holland-led defense.
For the third straight season, the Dolphins will open their season against the Patriots. Miami will welcome the AFC East rival at Hard Rock Stadium in Week 1 on Sept. 11 (1:00 p.m. EST). Their final regular season game will be a home tilt against the New York Jets (time TBD).