The Miami Dolphins just missed the playoffs last season. A lot of that had to do with poor coaching, poor defensive play and injuries. However, a lot of it also had to do with the Dolphins difficult schedule. Anytime you have to play the Super Bowl Champions two times in the same year, your schedule is bound to be hard. According to NFL.com, they had the twelfth hardest strength of schedule.
However, this year, the Dolphins have a more favorable schedule. Check it out.
Looking at this schedule, I have separated each game into three different groups: should win, close games, and underdog status. Let’s look at what Dolphins game falls into which category.
The Dolphins were lucky to get to play the AFC South this year, especially after the division struggled greatly last season outside of Indianapolis. I like the Dolphins to be favorites entering games against the Texans, Titans and Jaguars. None of those teams has a great starting quarterback, and the Dolphins front seven should be able to produce turnovers by getting to the quarterback. The Redskins can surprise teams by playing a great game, or they can look like they normally do and play awful football. I am banking on the latter, especially since it will be the season opener. The Dolphins could be 2-0 with wins over the Redskins and Jaguars come week 3. This subhead is called ‘Should Win’ for a reason though. As the Dolphins so often do, they could definitely lose one or more of these games.
The Miami Dolphins have struggled against the Buffalo Bills as of late, and now they will have to face the Bills lead by Rex Ryan. They will also face former offensive guard Richie Igcognito. Neither of those two games will be easy wins, and they could easily go either way. Same goes for the Jets, led by defensive mastermind Todd Bowles. I would still favor the Dolphins though simply because they have an above average quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins have taken a game from the Patriots each of the past two seasons, and I expect them to again this year at home late in the season. I have a feeling either the Eagles or Giants game may turn out to be the best game of the season (in terms of how close it is), as the Eagles and Giants will both have high flying offenses this season. Should be fun.
The Dolphins have struggled to beat the Patriots in Foxborough, and I don’t see that pattern breaking this season. The Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, and if they can push through Miami’s front seven, it will be a long day for the Dolphins defense. The Dolphins almost never beat the Ravens, who have had Miami’s number for the past decade or so. However, the Dolphins destroyed the Chargers last season. I see Philip Rivers and the Bolts getting their revenge at home this season. That leaves the Andrew Luck –led Colts as the final team I think the Dolphins will be underdogs against. The Dolphins are 1-1 with Ryan Tannehill against Luck and the Colts, so expect a good third game between these two teams.
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