Even before the schedule was released we knew who Miami would be playing as that is determined years in advance using a pre-determined formula: See Creating NFL Schedule and NFL Regular season for the complected details. What is factored in every season is the previous seasons win/loss record as it has a bearing on if a team will face an equal or less talented opponent from the proceeding year.
So the fact that the AFC East would be facing the AFC & NFC West Divisions that have the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers from the AFC West as well as the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals from the NFC West has not changed and now that the schedule has been officially released it just puts a date on what was a known.
Having the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are a result of Miami’s win loss record last year or they would face the top teams in those respective divisions the Ravens and Texans. The remainder of the Dolphins schedule is within their own division as they face each division opponent twice every year.
The schedule is designed to create some semblance of fairness but it really is a flawed system because the one thing that is constant about the NFL is “Change” and no team goes into the new season with the exact same players of the previous year.
With that being said here is Miami’s 2020 NFL Schedule
- Week 1 Miami @ New England Patriots – September 13, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 2 Miami vs. Buffalo Bills – September 20, 1:00 PM CBS (Home Opener)
- Week 3 Miami @ Jacksonville Jaguars – (Thursday) September 24, 8:20 PM NFL Network
- Week 4 Miami vs. Seattle Seahawks – October 4, 1:00 PM FOX
- Week 5 Miami @ San Francisco 49ers – October 11, 4:05 PM FOX
- Week 6 Miami @ Denver Broncos – October 18, 4:05 PM CBS
- Week 7 Miami vs. Los Angeles Chargers – October 25, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 8 Miami vs. Los Angeles Rams – November 1, 1:00 PM FOX
- Week 9 Miami @ Arizona Cardinals – November 8, 4:25 PM CBS
- Week 10 Miami vs. New York Jets – November 15, 4:05 PM CBS
- Week 11 Bye Week
- Week 12 Miami @ New York Jets – November 29, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 13 Miami vs. Cincinnati Bengals – December 6, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 14 Miami vs. Kansas City Chiefs – December 13, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 15 Miami vs. New England Patriots – December 20, 1:00 PM CBS
- Week 16 Miami at @ Las Vegas Raiders – December 26 or 27, Time and Network TBD
- Week 17 Miami @ Buffalo Bills – January 3, 1:00 PM CBS
Analytics says Miami have the 3rd toughest schedule in the league this year as they face teams that went to the playoffs 7 times this upcoming season and they also will face the Superbowl winners in week 14, who is part of the three division winners they will face. (Chiefs, 49ers & Patriots) There are also some legitimate contenders like the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams as well as teams on the rise like Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and last but not least teams they just can’t overlook like the New York Jets & Cincinnati Bengals.
So I agree Miami have a really tough schedule and it is entirely possible that even though they will actually be a much more talented team in 2020, they could actually lose more games this year than they won last year.
So how can this be a good thing for Miami?
Well keep in mind they are just in year two of their rebuilding process and team continuity should be their biggest concern, so playing some of the best teams in the league will help these young players build a much more competitive team as the season rolls along. Winning or losing is still not the main objective at this stage of the rebuild. (Don’t Tell Brian Flores that!)
The Dolphins also have 2 first and 2 second round picks in 2021 and that will get them some more young talent in the upcoming draft. So getting another high pick is extremely possible with BOTH PICKS!
Year two is all about solidifying the foundation that the Dolphins have built. The schedule will toughen them up and will weed out the ones who can play on the next level and ones that will need more work or time or just might can’t cut it.
So this year will go a long way in helping the Dolphins establish their identity as a unit, based off of what coach Brian Flores is hoping to have, a smart, tough, disciplined team and that’s been reflected in both the Dolphins free agent signings as well as the 2020 draft.
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