Dolphins Schedule: AFC East
The big rivalry games for Miami, particularly the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills games will be true tests for the team. The Bills defeated Miami 26-11 and 35-0 last year. Miami swept the Patriots and Jets last year. Buffalo is conisdered the AFC’s favorite to reach the Super Bowl. How much the Jets improved this offseason, in a tough division, remains to be seen. Miami needs the wins against New York and New England plus at least one against Buffalo to make the playoffs. The thinking is they go 4-2 again because the Bills, as of right now, look that good.
Miami’s AFC North Matchups
The reason Miami needs to beat Buffalo week 3 or week 15: they drew the AFC North as their other conference divison opponents. Baltimore definitely will look for revenge in week 2 after the Dolphins defeated them in Miami last year. Cincinnati made a run to the Super Bowl, coming within a minute of winning it. Pittsburgh starts over with a new quarterback for the first time since 2004. A new QB1 helps the Cleveland Bown offense but the WRs he throws to should not scare Miami’s secondary. If the Dolphins find a way to split games against the North, beating the Steelers week 7 and the Browns week 10, both at home, that would be huge for the team.
NFC North Opponents
The Dolphins chances to go 3-1 against the NFC North appear pretty strong, given where the 4 teams in the division are right now. Green Bay once again leads the way and should win the division again. Chicago and Minnesota hired new coaches, just like Miami. Detroit’s improvement may not result in that many more wins unitl they find a new QB1. The Dolphins finding it hard to matchup against the Vikings WRs would not be surprising. Losing to the Bears or Lions cannot happen for Miami to break their 6 year postseason drought. Picking up the win against Minnesota week 6 bolsters those chances.
The Remaining Games for Miami
Two of the Dolphins other 3 games appear to be tough: at LA Chargers week 14 and at San Francisco the week before. Miami must win a home game with the Houston Texans week 12. If the team goes 4-2 with their division opponents, 5-3 against the AFC and NFC North’s, will winning just one game against these other opponents be enough? It would only be the Dolphins third season with double digit wins since 2000. With seven teams in each conference making the with 10 wins would be enough but this is not a normal AFC. Beating Buffalo, Green Bay, or any of the teams tougher foes, showing real improvement and growth, is essential for the Dolphins.
Dolphins Full Schedule
Week 1 Sun 9/11 New England Patriots 1:00 PM
Week 2 Sun 9/18 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM
Week 3 Sun 9/25 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM
Week 4 Thu 9/29 @ Cincinnati Bengals 8:15 PM
Week 5 10/09 @ New York Jets 1:00 PM
Week 6 10/16 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM
Week 7 10/23 Pittsburgh Steelers 8:20 PM
Week 8 10/30 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 PM
Week 9 11/06 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 PM
Week 10 11/13 Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM
Week 11 11/20 Bye
Week 12 11/27 Houston Texans 1:00 PM
Week 13 12/04 @ San Farancisco 49ers 4:00 PM
Week 14 12/11 @ LA Chargers 4:00 PM
Week 15 12/18 @ Buffalo Bills TBD
Week 16 12/25 Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM
Week 17 Sun 1/01 @ New England Patriots 1:00 PM
Week 18 Sun 1/08 New York Jets 1:00 PM
Note: all start times for games are ET
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