It's hard to say that the Miami Dolphins have gotten worse than they were a year ago, when they finished with a 7-9 record.
The defense has only gotten better, with its elite defensive line all returning, Jason Taylor and Kevin Burnett upgrading the linebacker corps, and the young, promising secondary a year more experienced.
The offense ranked 31st in the NFL last year, so there is really nowhere to go but up. Quarterback Chad Henne has also looked promising in Brian Daboll's new offense, and knows he's on his last legs in Miami.
The Dolphins have the talent to contend for a playoff spot, but they are in a tough division and there are far too many question marks (especially on offense) to really figure out just how this team is going to do in 2011.
We'll know a lot more tomorrow night as the Dolphins face the Patriots in their regular season opener. The Patriots are understandably seven-point favorites on the road coming off a 14-2 season in 2010.
As the Dolphins try to beat the Patriots for the first time since December 2009, here are five things I'm watching for in the Monday Night Football matchup.