Pickin’ It Apart: Miami Dolphins 2015 Schedule
In my world, National Football Day is the day the schedule is released and is a national holiday. Travel plans are put in motion, excitement starts to burn inside your soul, and anticipation regarding your teams potential to make the NFL playoffs begin to creep into your mind. At least for me anyway!
Let’s take a look at the 2015 Miami Dolphins schedule and break it down to the road to glory.
Pre-Bye Week Shenanigans
To kick off the 2015 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins will travel to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., to face Robert Griffin III (or Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy) and the Washington Redskins. The following week they play their in-state rivals Jacksonville Jaguars where former Dolphin, Jared Odrick, calls home. Then a good ol’ fashion AFC East rivalry takes place with upstate New York where the Dolphins take on Rex Ryan and ex-Dolphin Charles Clay in the Dolphins home opener at Sun Life Stadium.
This four week stretch of games leading up to the Bye Week is pretty interesting. Three of these games will be played away from Sun Life Stadium in sunny South Florida. The New York Jets game is listed as a home game but they are technically the “home” team since the game will be played in London. The league does like to send the Dolphins there but maybe the team likes crossing the pond since they are 1-1 with a fantastic win over the Oakland Raiders last season. Confidence booster!
Not saying it’ll be easy but the Dolphins should be able to make a strong start given their first four opponents, due in part to their demonstrated ability to play well and win on the road (four losses coming to three playoff teams). My prediction is that the Dolphins start out the season with a 3-1 record and going into the Bye Week on a high note. The one loss will probably come at the hands of the Buffalo Bills because of Buffalo’s revamped defense and, as Dolphin fans can tell you first hand, Ryan will have his squad fired up to ruin the home opener for Suh and Co. down in Miami. This game will carry a lot of emotion, being the first home game for Miami with their new toys, with Clay coming back to town, and being the first divisional game with potential playoff implications. The outcome will depend directly on how Miami’s revamped roster performs under such pressure and scrutiny.
On the Road Again
After taking the long trip across the pond, the Dolphins have to gear up for their next six games and get comfortable with being away from home. Four of their first six games back from the Bye Week, are on the road and against some pretty good teams such as: the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and Philadelphia Eagles. Mind you those three games are all in a row. There are two silver linings in this though. One being, the two previous games, at Tennessee and home against Houston, should provide for some much needed confidence going into those three games. Second being that at least they catch those teams at a decent time of year (late October and mid-November) where weather shouldn’t be too much of a factor.
Home Sweet Home
The Dolphins finally get a chance to enjoy the warm weather of Miami in the final six games of the regular season. This is huge because they normally end up playing the Patriots, Steelers, Browns, or Ravens in late November and into December. I still can’t wrap my head around why the Dolphins can’t play well in the snow. They surely don’t want to or like to build a snowman! Only two of the remaining six games are on the road and one of them in San Diego…not the worst place to play in the middle of December. But they do host four teams that made the playoffs in 2014: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, and the dreaded New England Patriots to close out the year.
Talk about drama huh?
Recap and Prediction
The 2015 season in a nutshell: the Miami Dolphins will be tested early and often on the road and will have to prove their physical and mental toughness in someone else’s house. In order to show that they belong the postseason, they are going to have to face a few teams that made the playoffs last year…trial by fire so to say!
The make or break part of the season will be the three game road trip they will take from late October to mid-November facing teams that aren’t slouches.
Finish the season strong. They will essentially be playing in the AFC title game the last two games of the season against the Colts and Patriots, the two teams faced off last year for the AFC Conference Title.
Realistically I can see this team going 10-6. Optimistically, I can also see 11-5.
The toughest games will be the division matchups against the Bills, Patriots and when the Dolphins host the Cowboys. I don’t see the Jets giving the Dolphins trouble simply because of New York’s quarterback situation.
This should be enough to get them through to the playoffs via with a Wild Card berth. Although they will give the Patriots a run for their money in the division, it’s unlikely the Patriots will cede that position. But the Dolphins are ultimately better offensively than Buffalo and will finish ahead of them in the division.
Win or lose, the games will be really fun to watch given the revamped defense and explosive offense they are cooking down in South Florida.
Stick with us here at Football Garbage Time for the latest NFL news and notes from around the league!