To say the Miami Dolphins have not lived up to expectations in the 2021 NFL season would be a massive understatement. This was a team expected to compete for a playoff spot this season and keep pressure on the Buffalo Bills atop the AFC East. Instead, Miami is sitting at 1-5 on the year and trying to find a way to right a ship that seems like it is already halfway underwater. It has been an ugly start to the season, and the confidence the fans have in the direction of the team reflects the disappointment they feel.
At the time of the Draft back in April, fans knew the Dolphins were on track, with 93 percent of the fans agreeing Miami was headed in the right direction. That dipped a little heading into Week 1, down to 89 percent, but nothing major. After coming away with a win in Foxboro over the New England Patriots to open the season, fan confidence ticked up to 90 percent, about where a team coming off a 10 win season, expecting to make the playoffs, and coming off a win over a division rival should be.
Then Week 2 happened and the wheels fell off the Dolphins. A 35-0 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills spun the Dolphins, and the fan base, into a downward spiral that still continues as the team prepares to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.
Fan confidence ahead of Week 3 was down to just 58 percent of the fans believing Miami was headed in the right direction.
Headed into Week 4 it dropped to an even 50-50 split.
Ahead of Week 5, it was down to just one fan of every five were saying Miami was headed in the right direction.
In Week 6, it ticked up one percentage point to 21 percent of the fans confident in the team’s direction.
After losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had not won a game since Week 1 of the 2020 season, it is now down to 17 percent of the fans are confident in the direction of the team. Only the Washington Football Team, New York Giants, Houston Texans, and Denver Broncos have a lower fan confidence than Miami.
The Dolphins have a huge problem. The team cannot sustain performing at a level that has fans confidence this low. They are losing fans. They are losing the ability to create new fans. And they are going to have parents not spread their fandom to their children. This could become a crisis for the Dolphins if they do not find a way to fix it quickly.
Miami’s game against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend features Miami at home against a 2-3 team. The Dolphins, however, find themselves as home underdogs with the Falcons favored by 2.5 points according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.
If the Dolphins cannot come away with the upset and score a second win on the season, the fan confidence rating for next week may just find the Dolphins in the single-digits.