Not many people had the Dolphins as a potential playoff team last year, but in Week 17 of the 2020 NFL season, they had a win-win post-season scenario. All they had to do was beat the Bills in Week 17, and they would play as a wild side in the AFC playoffs.
In the end, this did not succeed. In fact, the team gave up 56 points in what was arguably their worst game of the season and what was arguably Tua Tagovailoa’s worst game. Still, the fact that Miami was playing for a playoff berth just a year after being given a top-five pick and two years after firing Adam Gase is a big accomplishment.
Now Flores will be looking to take the Dolphins to the next level and bring them back to the playoffs. Unlike their other highly-rated AFC East counterparts, the Dolphins’ schedule doesn’t look too tough on paper. Clashes with Lamar Jackson, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence could test the defense, but the Dolphins are already strong on this side of the ball. It’s more about whether their offense can meet expectations; they are no longer the adorable hard-hitting outsiders.
Here’s a full look at the 2021 Dolphins schedule, including dates, start times, and analysis for all 17 games.
2021 Miami Dolphins Schedule
The full Dolphins schedule was announced as part of the NFL Schedule release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET:
|1||Sep 12||at Patriots||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|2||Sep 19||vs invoices||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|3||Sep 26||at Raiders||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||October 3||vs Colts||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|5||October 10||at Buccaneers||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|6||17 october||at Jaguars (London)||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||24 october||against Falcons||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|8||October 31||at Bills||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|9||November 7||against Texans||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|ten||November 11 (TNF)||against Ravens||8:20 p.m.||NFL / Fox / Amazon Prime Network|
|11||21 November||at Jets||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|12||28 november||vs. Panthers||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|13||Dec 5||against the giants||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|14||Dec 12||Goodbye week||–||–|
|15||December 18 or 19 (to be determined)||against Jets||To be determined||To be determined|
|16||Dec 27||at Saints||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|17||January 2||at Titans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|18||January 9||vs. Patriots||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
The Dolphins are also expected to be better during the 2021 NFL season. The Dolphins’ defense is strong, especially in high school, which will give them a chance to compete for the AFC East title. They also added a lot of flair to their offense with wide receiver Will Fuller and draft picks Jaylen Waddle (WR) and Liam Eichenberg (OT). The Dolphins started 1-3 last season in the second year. at the head of Flores. , but managed to score double-digit wins thanks in part to a five-game winning streak that spanned weeks 5-10. During that span, the Dolphins knocked out the reigning champions 49ers of the Super Bowl, the Rams in the playoffs and two dynamic young QBs, Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert.
Moreover, Tua Tagovailoa will be another year removed from a catastrophic hip injury he suffered in college, which may allow him to do more on the pitch. He’ll need to make the leap for the Dolphins to reach their full potential, but Flores and Co. showed their confidence in the No.5 pick in the ’20 NFL Draft.
All in all, the Dolphins don’t have a very tough schedule on paper, so they should have a chance to make some noise except for an unexpected increase in some of the middle teams on their schedule.
Dolphins program strength
Of the four AFC East teams, the Dolphins have the easiest schedule at 0.471 this year. This ties them up for the fifth easiest schedule with the Broncos based on last year’s win / loss records for the teams.
That’s not to say the Dolphins don’t have tough opponents to the role, but given they have five games against the teams that finished last in the NFL last season, that should support them and their give a fairly high floor. . Maybe one of them, like the Falcons, turns out to be a tougher test than you expected, but no matter how you look at it, this schedule looks solid for the Dolphins.
Most difficult test: The Dolphins face the Buccaneers and Saints on the road, two good teams with solid advantages on the pitch. Miami’s defense should give them a shot in these games, but they represent the toughest clashes on the slate.
The other tough game to watch will be the one against the Ravens. Baltimore beat Miami a few years ago at the start of the season, and while the Dolphins’ defense is much better than it was back then, it’s never easy to contain Lamar Jackson. It may be the only home game they have significant problems with, although their game with the Bills will need to be watched as well. That said, after Tagovailoa’s season-ending debacle against Buffalo last year, the Dolphins will surely be ready for revenge.
The biggest breaks: This whole schedule looks pretty cool for the Dolphins. The Jaguars, Jets, Texans and Falcons all finished with the last four records last season, so the Dolphins might be ready to enjoy those games. Yes, the Jaguars and Jets have new quarterbacks, but what about their defenses? The same question can be asked of the Falcons.
As for the Texans, will they be a formidable opponent if they don’t have Deshaun Watson? Probably not. They might not even be as good with him right now, due to how unstable every position on their roster is currently.
Conclusion: It’s amazing that the Dolphins are still rebuilding themselves, in a way, because they’re way ahead of schedule where they’re supposed to be. Flores and Chris Grier have done a great job of making this a solid formation, and their defense looks particularly good. The same goes for the receivers and the waterproof weapons with which they surrounded Tagovailoa.
If the Dolphins had a tough schedule, they might just be a .500 team just because Tagovailoa continues to grow as a QB, and the team still needs running back and seven. first. But with a good schedule in front of them, the “Phins can take advantage and push again for a prime spot.
Record prediction: 11-6