You look at some of the teams who have struggled in the NFL over the past few seasons and you get the idea that they don’t really want to get any better. Sometimes, it’s a lack of activity in the free agent market that is the signal, while some questionable picks at the draft is another sign that there may not be a ton of urgency. One team that does not fall into that category is the Miami Dolphins, as they were serious about getting better this offseason. With Tom Brady no longer part of the AFC East, there is a sense that the division might well be up for grabs this year. Whether the Dolphins can be part of that race remains to be seen, so let’s take a closer look at their 2020 schedule to see how they might make out and their NFL odds.
Miami Dolphins Schedule Analysis
Strength of Schedule
If the Miami Dolphins are going to become a challenger again this season, they are going to need to do it the hard way. Divisional games aside, the Dolphins have been tagged with the 3rd toughest strength of schedule for the 2020 season. The teams that they will be facing this coming season ended last year with a combined record of 135-120-1. That is about as tough as it gets, especially for a team that might take some time to gel given all the new parts that they have added this offseason.
Don’t Expect to See a Lot of Tua
No-one was particularly surprised when the Miami Dolphins selected QB Tua Tagovailoa with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. There are some who consider it a bit of a risk given that Tua is coming off a brutal injury in his final season with Alabama. The Dolphins, though, can basically redshirt him this year, as they have veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick still in the fold. It will more than likely be Fitzpatrick who gets the starting job, allowing the rookie to watch and learn before finally taking over this team at the start of the 2021 season.
Primetime and Featured Games
The networks may have been a little more open to showing the Dolphins in primetime if they thought that Tua was going to be under center from Week 1. As it is, the Dolphins will have the same exposure as they did last season, which will be a single game played in primetime. That will come on Thursday night in Week 3 of the season, when Miami will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. That is not exactly a matchup that gets the pulse racing, but it will be an opportunity to see how well the changes that the Dolphins made this offseason are panning out.
It is worth remembering that after an 0-7 start last season, Miami went 5-4 in their final 9 games. We will get a chance to see if that momentum carries over and whether or not they can be a player in the East, as they will start the season with back to back divisional games versus the Patriots and the Bills.
The Miami Dolphins Complete Schedule
- Week 1, Sept. 13: at Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 2, Sept. 20: Bills, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 3, Sept. 24:at Jaguars, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network, Thursday Night Football)
- Week 4, Oct. 4: Seahawks, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 5, Oct. 11: at 49ers, 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Broncos, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 7, Oct. 25: Chargers, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 8, Nov. 1: Rams, 1 p.m. (Fox)
- Week 9, No. 8: at Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 10, Nov. 15: Jets, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 11, BYE
- Week 12, Nov. 28: at Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 13, Dec. 6: Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 14, Dec. 13: Chiefs, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 15, Dec. 20: Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)
- Week 16, Dec. 26 or 27: at Raiders, TBD
- Week 17, Jan. 3: at Bills, 1 p.m. (CBS)