The Miami Dolphins finished their 2012 regular season with a record of 7-9, three games out of the final wild-card spot in the AFC, and to some three games ahead of their projected win total prior to the start of the season.
Depending on which glass you choose to look at, either 2012 was a season of underachieving or overachieving. It's a rare season where deciding what the Dolphins did is strictly in the eyes of how you choose to look at this team and how optimistic you are (Miami showed improvement throughout the season and never gave up), or how pessimistic you are (Tannehill is Chad Henne 2.0, Joe Philbin is Cam Cameron with a better record).
I'm a bit on the optimistic side but also deal with the realistic facts. The first one is that the Dolphins are the second-best team in the AFC East (based off of record, this is true). The second one is that Ryan Tannehill is the second-best quarterback in the AFC East (what that means in a division with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mark Sanchez, I don't know, but it is true). And the third one is that Miami does have building blocks to work with going into 2013.
Throughout the season I graded each player in each game with live report cards. Today I will be giving each important starter a final grade for the 2012 season.
Be warned, statistics are not the only factor I will use for grading each player, so if you disagree with a grade, look beyond the stat sheet for reasons why the grade should be higher or lower.