Playoffs Impossible: Miami Dolphins Are Now Playing for Andrew Luck

Brandon ChillingworthCorrespondent IIOctober 5, 2011

STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I thought this would be a good year for the Miami Dolphins. They have very good players in many positions, and appeared to be on the upswing.

That's of course before their defense imploded, and they once again proved incapable of putting points on the board.

Instead of the playoffs, their new goal should be to get the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and select quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford University.

Miami had a tough schedule to begin the season, but nobody expected 0-4.

The Dolphins defense has been downright terrible. Mike Nolan is supposed to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, but he hasn't been able to get anything going for this unit.

Miami probably has the deepest defensive line in the entire NFL. They have two good young corners, and a top-notch linebacker corps. They have decent safeties too. These guys were one of the best defenses in the league last year, but are one of the worst this season.

One change has been replacing long-time Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder with Kevin Burnett. He was supposed to help contain tight ends better in the pass game, but has not done anything special thus far.

Many fans are also wondering if last year's starting safety Chris Clemons is the missing piece to fix the problems. The Dolphins have been starting gambler Reshad Jones, and his play has been horrendous.

Offensively, the Dolphins have been a bit better. Chad Henne just went down last week, and it could end up  being for the rest of the year. It's hard to believe, but Miami has nobody better than him to play starting pivot.

The Dolphins schedule doesn't get much easier for the rest of the year. The way they're playing right now, it would be surprising to see them beat any of the teams remaining on their schedule.

I think that this is the time of the year where Dolphins fans have to realize that they're playing for draft picks, and not the playoffs. At least they picked a good year to do it.

Andrew Luck is the best quarterback prospect in all of college football since Peyton Manning came out of Tennessee. Everybody knows how that turned out.

It would be a huge breath of fresh air in South Beach if the Dolphins could land the heralded signal-caller. The Dolphins have not had a mainstay at quarterback since the great Dan Marino left.

The 2012 NFL draft is shaping up to be very deep, but from pick one to two, there will be an enormous drop-off in talent. Luck is a rare breed of player, and is already projected to put together a Hall-of-Fame NFL career.

The Miami Dolphins playoff hopes are long gone, maybe they can play for draft picks and land the NFL's next great quarterback.