After four consecutive losses by the Miami Dolphins, their fans are experiencing a mix of disgust and frustration.
On the bright side, Miami has nine games left. This season is not over. Will the Dolphins step up? Will individual players give us hope for the future? Let's look at three players who are having solid 2013 campaigns but have been overshadowed by the Dolphins' recent losing streak.
1. Randy Starks
Miami placed the franchise tag on Starks before the 2013 season and will pay him $8.45 million this year. Starks will turn 30 this year and is motivated to earn a huge payday in 2014. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Starks (+18.4) is rated as the fifth-best interior lineman through the NFL's Week 8.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Starks (+13.1) fourth among all defensive tackles in pass rushing behind only Jason Hatcher, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. PFF ranks Starks (+5.4) as the 10th-best rush defender among interior linemen.
2. Jared Odrick
Yes, it's time for the Pee-wee Herman dance. The 28th-overall selection of the 2010 NFL draft is shining on the inside of the defensive line.
Based on PFF ratings, Odrick (+10.8) has been the 12th-best defensive tackle, overall, in 2013. Odrick has excelled as a pass-rusher, according to PFF, as he is currently seventh among all interior lineman with a rating of plus-9.9.
3. Brent Grimes
Grimes has easily been Miami's best offseason acquisition, finally giving the Dolphins the true No. 1 cornerback they had not seen since Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. For the present season, PFF ranks Grimes (+9.3) as the fourth-best cornerback in the league through eight weeks.
The ex-Atlanta Falcon signed a one-year deal worth $5.5 million to play for the Dolphins. Grimes could not get a multi-year deal to his liking because he was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. If he continues to play as he has, thus far, teams will be fighting to make him a rich man.
Hopefully, Miami and "Optimus" Grimes can come to a long-term agreement before he reaches the open market in 2014.