Miami sports fans always take this time of year to look back on the past year. Whether you’re the Miami Marlins in the offseason or the Miami Heat smack-dab in the current, there’s something about the change of schedule that makes for good self-assessment.
With good self-assessment comes good New Year’s Resolutions, and the sincere hope that next year will be better than the one that has passed.
To help you in this effort, we’ve scored each team’s performance in 2021 in a handy report card. From the Miami Dolphins to the Miami Marlins to the Florida Panthers, here’s how every team has played this year.
Miami Dolphins: C-
The year got off to a bad start when they ended last season with a devastating 56-26 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 3. Things seemed to get worse when the Dolphins lost seven of this season’s opening eight games.
Since then, they’ve made a comeback that makes the end result more respectable but doesn’t change the concerns that surround the product as a whole.
On a positive note, the most important question that needed to be answered before 2021 is settled: Tua Tagovailoa is the answer to quarterback. This offseason, there will be no need to go out and trade draft picks that will run until the next presidential election season for Deshaun Watson and his $ 40 million a year contract.
Tua will do very well – with the extra help he lacked this season.
Florida Panthers: B +
If we rate the performances of our local sports teams in 2021, the Florida Panthers receive the highest rating by far. In a 2020 season shortened by COVID, the Panthers were one of the best teams in the NHL, but fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the future Stanley Cup champions, in the first round.
This season, the Panthers have made it clear that 2020 is no fluke. They are an elite NHL team, among the best in the league. Even in a hectic season in which they lost their coach to a scandal over a decade ago and injuries that sometimes left the team exhausted, the Panthers have continued to perform well.
There’s no doubt that if you were to put a Vegas betting line on the odds of winning a title next year, the Florida Panthers are the most likely South Florida team to host a parade in. 2022.
Miami Heat: C
The past 12 months have seen ups and downs for the most stable (by the way) sports franchise in all of Florida. After a roller coaster end to the 2020 season that featured a first-round sweep of the NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami had entered the current season playing much better basketball.
Then life came. COVID, injuries and an assortment of unfortunate and unforeseen events made the Heat’s starting lineup every night about as predictable as picking the right Powerball numbers. However, the team regrouped and remained in good position as Bam Adebayo and Markieff Morris recover from their injuries.
Miami Marlins: C-
The Marlins went 67-95 in 2021 – 21.5 games behind the first-place team in NL East. It’s not good. There is no rotation to make it seem remotely OK. No matter how you put it, 2021 has been a disappointing and terrible season for a baseball team that should make things interesting after a surprising 2020 playoff appearance. The Marlins became full Marlins in 2021.
But there is a lot of hope that they will be much better in 2022. The problem is, of course, that we have heard that before! Between a beautiful stadium and exciting baseball players like Jazz Chisolm and Sixto Sanchez, the ingredients are there to make Miami baseball catch the eye. Points for a farming system that is one of the best in MLB.
Inter Miami CF: D
Judging Inter Miami’s 2021 season is a difficult task. On the one hand, the team has greatly improved in more than one way. They bring a fighting chance on the pitch in every game, the stands are usually packed and the roster is much improved.
On the other hand, they finished last season 12-17-5, good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 14 teams, and a poor season overall by the standards of all teams, even those who did not exist a few years ago. Inter Miami CF appear to have stability in 2022 with Phil Neville and a few new player additions, but they still have a long way to go before they live up to the same fan loyalty and expectations as Zip Code Heat, or even Panthers.