Perched in the NFL’s middle ground for the better part of two decades, the 2018 season is an all too familiar movie for Dolphins fans. Miami’s .500 record, as Thanksgiving approaches, is a minor miracle given the state of the team’s medical report.
Outside of 2011, the Dolphins have been in the four-to-six-win range through 10 games every year since 2008. This position of purgatory puts fans on the fence between hoping for a run at January football, and clamoring for a total rebuild.
As is usually the case in football (and in life), the truth lies somewhere in-between the two extremes. Though 2018 feels different given the team’s lackluster showings against formidable competition, the pendulum feels more stuck in stagnation than ever before.
The NFL is a business of constant evaluation. A team of scouts and decision-makers mull the roster every day with an ear to the ground in search of improvements.
Six games remain in the 2018 rollercoaster ride through dreams of contention and utter despair. Wins in four of the six puts Miami in position to qualify for the post-season, but given the team’s health (or lack thereof) it’s difficult to imagine a December run.
So, with a bye week ahead, we’re going to categorize and take inventory of the Dolphins roster.
There are seven categories in this exercise. Arrows up and down, as well as blue and red distinctions, are the common practice for defining a player in the league, but we’re shooting for ultimate transparency here – thus the expansion.
Blue Chip Cornerstones – These are the example setters in the organization – the players that figure to play in multiple pro-bowls. For the sake of the exercise, we put age and experience restrictions into this category as well.
Established Veterans – Some of these names could climb into the cornerstone group. For a team that’s just as close to a rebuild as it is competing for titles, established players without a lot of room for growth fall into this section.
Core Foundation Pieces – Productive, young, and perhaps their best football ahead of them, this is the crop of players you rely upon to take your football team to the next level. The team’s improvement is dependent on their continued development.
Unknown Due to Medical – Injuries put everything on pause for some players – especially those on the wrong side of 30.
Role Players – Whether it’s depth or special teams value, these are the bottom of the roster players that have to ward off challengers every summer.
Greenies – Too early to make a declaration one way or the other, this list if full of rookies and second-year players.
Not in the Future Plans – The clock is ticking and unless something drastic occurs, these names are likely out the door in 2019.
Let’s start with Miami’s three prized possessions.
Blue Chip Cornerstones:
Laremy Tunsil – Miami’s 2016 First Round pick, Tunsil quickly ascended to the elite class of blindside protectors flourishing against the best pass rushers in all of football. Tunsil’s sudden kick-slide, smooth footwork and strong initial punch has fostered top-shelf production both in the run and pass game. Miami will certainly exercise Tunsil’s fifth-year option for 2020 before extending him on a lucrative deal.
Xavien Howard – Trading up in that same 2016 class, Miami nabbed its second consecutive cornerstone piece. Howard has premier cover skills, he’s scheme diverse and plays the ball exceptionally well. Howard’s contract is up after the 2019 season – expect Miami to make him a rich man prior to that expiration date.
Minkah Fitzpatrick – Earning this distinction through 10 career games speaks to Fitzpatrick’s skill set and football acumen. He has played four positions as a rookie, each better than the previous. Miami will have to figure out if they want the Alabama product to play corner or safety long-term – neither is a bad option.
Cam Wake – Still one of the game’s top pass rushers, even at age 36, Wake is an enigma. He feasts on slower-footed right tackles and has a chance to hit triple-digit career sacks this year. Wake’s contract is up at season’s end and nobody would blame him if he chased a title. But if Wake wants to come back, the Dolphins should welcome him with open arms.
Robert Quinn – This will be one of Miami’s most difficult decisions this coming spring. Quinn’s production hasn’t matched his impact, but he’s due nearly $12 million in 2019 and Miami simply needs more from its pass rush.
Reshad Jones – Jones could easily fall in the cornerstone category, but concerns over his durability persist on an annual basis. Injuries, a huge cap-figure and a tendency to freelance (leading to a first quarter benching last week) puts Jones’ value in limbo. At his best, he’s the NFL’s standard as a C-gap run defending safety, with ball skills to boot. Miami cannot get out of his contract, but he could be an interesting trade target this off-season.
Frank Gore – As he has done his entire career, Gore surprised everyone with another productive season. He surpassed 500 rushing yards for the 14thtime in his career – something nobody else has done. He signed a one-year deal, but all parties involved figure to have interest in extending the farewell tour another season.
Danny Amendola – The biggest medical risk among the group heading into the season is the only one left standing (Stills missed one game). He’s under contract for 2019 and it’s safe to assume he’ll finish out that deal.
Kiko Alonso – This was one of the more difficult players to place. The contract he received in 2016 was one of many curious decisions by Mike Tannenbaum and it would make sense that the team retains his services – though they probably shouldn’t. Alonso has a lot of shortcomings in his game that are masked by the occasional takeaway.
Core Foundation Pieces:
Kenny Stills – Shaky quarterback play has sent Stills’ production into a nose-dive the last two seasons. He’s one of the game’s best deep threats and an even better human being and teammate. Miami has an out on his contract at the end of this season, but Stills is well worth the $8 and $7 million he’s due in 2019 and 2020.
Albert Wilson – Flashing electric play-making ability, Wilson flat-out beat the Bears on his own. Though his season was cut short to an injury, he will return in 2019 as one of the focal points of this Miami offense.
Ja’Wuan James – Another tricky name to place, James could depart via free agency next spring. Given the depleted state of Miami’s offensive line, the smart money would be on an extension for the Right Tackle. Injuries and lengthy slumps could give the Dolphins pause on a multi-year deal.
Kenyan Drake – Sure to generate discussion, Drake lands in this group because of the inherent upside he offers. When he was the bell cow to close 2017, Drake was one of the league’s best backs. Relegated back to a secondary role, Drake’s big-play ability has almost vanished. He’s too dynamic in both phases of the game to be neglected like he has been.
Jakeem Grant – Like Drake, Grant has been criminally mismanaged. He’s another dynamic play maker that touches the ball far too infrequently. His added value as a return man solidifies his status in this group.
Davon Godchaux – A powerful tackle that can play a variety of techniques, Godchaux holds his ground at the point of attack in the run-game. As a two-down player he shouldn’t be too expensive to extend when his deal expires after the 2020 season.
Vincent Taylor – Had he finished out the season, Taylor could’ve climbed into the cornerstone group. He’s a dominant force against the run with a lot of upside as a rusher. In a league where they say, “the more you can do,” Taylor will block an occasional field goal. He might be the biggest upside player in this group.
Jerome Baker – Speed is the name of the game for linebackers in today’s NFL and Baker has that trait in spades. He’s a savvy player that understands leverage and gap integrity, he closes down on flat routes as well as anyone and he’s shown a penchant for the big play.
Bobby McCain – McCain’s run as a perimeter corner has likely come to an end – his value is in the slot. In the first year of a four-year deal, McCain is a team captain and leader of this defense.
Unknown Due to Medical:
Ryan Tannehill – The daily Tannehill saga continues. At press time, the hope is that Tannehill returns to play the Colts next Sunday. If he returns in impressive fashion, he’ll have a future on this team. That future, however, is shrouded in doubt as a cloud of mystery regarding the severity of his shoulder injury hovers over Davie.
Josh Sitton – Miami’s healthy offensive line was bordering on dominant through the pre-season and into week one, but things began to unravel when Sitton was lost for the season. He has missed games in each of the past three years and he’s due $7 million in 2019. The Dolphins can get out of the contract for a minimal penalty, but given the lack of options beyond Sitton, he’s probably back for one more year.
Role Players/Special Teams:
Nick O’Leary – Fulfilling the role previously occupied by MarQueis Gray, O’Leary has earned a spot on the roster as a complementary tight end. O’Leary is a free agent at season’s end.
A.J. Derby – Derby could fall into the undesirable “not in the future plans” category depending on what Miami does at the position this off-season, but he does offer value as a reserve.
Jonathan Woodard – Like Derrick Shelby and Terrance Fede before him, Woodard is the next “find” capable of playing in the defensive end rotation.
Chase Allen – A backup inside linebacker and an ace special teamer, Allen has shown some value between the B-gaps and as a nose-backer.
Stephone Anthony – In a similar vein as Allen, Anthony adds value to Miami’s special teams’ units. He has played limited reps on defense and a case could be made that he’s not in the team’s future plans. We’ll find out soon, Anthony is a free agent at year’s end as Miami declined his fifth-year option for 2019.
Mike Hull – Hull and Allen could force Anthony out of a job, but where Anthony gains ground is in the footspeed department. Hull missed half the season with an injury but has been a stalwart on Miami’s kick-coverage units.
Walt Aikens – Miami’s new special teams captain, Aikens was taken care of by the organization last off-season (signed a two-year $2.7 million deal this summer).
Brandon Bolden – Earning his keep as a key member of New England’s special teams’ units, Bolden has made an immediate impact in Miami. Bolden will likely have to hold off the next guy on the list.
Senorise Perry – A restricted free agent in 2019, Perry will find work in the league whether it’s with Miami or elsewhere. He’s been another core special teamer for Darren Rizzi’s superb group.
Greenies (Incomplete Evaluation):
Jesse Davis – Davis earned the Right Guard job late last year but has relinquished his stranglehold on the gig this season. He has the size and athleticism to excel, but he gets beat by the best three and one-techs in the league far too often.
Charles Harris – The injury that has cost Harris five games this year is one of the more prohibitive instances of the 2018 Dolphins’ season. The jury remains out despite a growing portion of the fan base pronouncing Harris as the dreaded “B-word.”
Raekwon McMillan – He’s only played 10 career games and flashed the looks of a quality two-down backer at times – but consistency has been an issue. Given his studious habits and work ethic, the smart money is on the former Buckeye developing in the coming years.
Jake Brendel – He played the best game of his career on Sunday in Green Bay. He likely earned the left guard job for the final six games and his performance, frankly, is one of the keys to watch for as Miami closes out the year.
Kalen Ballage – Only recently active on game day, Ballage has flashed the versatility that suggests he has a bright future.
Mike Gesicki – Green is the best way to describe the rookie tight end. He’s still finding his way as an in-line blocker, but his downfield play-making prowess has been constricted to the garage while he tries to develop into a complete player.
Durham Smythe – Smythe has barely played in 2018, though there are encouraging reps in the run game.
Cornell Armstrong – A physical, feisty corner, Armstrong could get some run down the stretch in his rookie season.
Torry McTyer – It’s been a rough 2018 campaign for McTyer. Giving up on second-year undrafted free agents that have shown some bite is poor practice, however.
Cordrea Tankersley – His ACL injury puts him behind the 8-ball. His status for 2019 is murky and he could go the way of Tony Lippett as a result.
Luke Falk – A sixth-round rookie QB on I.R., we won’t know what Falk is for at least another year.
Not in the Future Plans –
Devante Parker – Parker’s agent made a big deal about his client’s lack of playing time – then Parker got hurt, again. Without the fifth-year option and a medical history longer than his actual production, it’s time to part ways with the former first rounder.
William Hayes – Hayes has been terrific when he’s healthy, but he’s played nine games in two years with Miami.
Dan Kilgore – Coming off a triceps injury, on the wrong side of 30, Kilgore’s future is in doubt. His play in the four games he did play wasn’t enough to quell the aforementioned concerns.
T.J. McDonald – Owner of one of the strangest (and worst) contracts in the league, Miami can get out from that deal this spring.
MarQueis Gray – Gray was a low-key integral part of this team in 2018. Another serious injury and the emergence of O’Leary makes the versatile tight end expendable.
Leonte Carroo – Finding his way back onto the practice squad, Carroo has one last chance to redeem his Dolphin career over the next six games.
Brock Osweiler – (Space left empty)
David Fales – Unless Adam Gase surprises everyone and turns to Fales post-bye, it’s difficult to imagine he has a future in Miami.
Isaac Asiata – He was finally called up last week, but he’s been passed over by a lot of bad players. It’s safe to assume his technique never rounded into form.
Wesley Johnson – Johnson was a band aid on a broken o-line.
Ted Larsen – The next in a long line of failed left guard experiments.
Zach Sterup – The staff likes Sterup, but another year of un-rosterable tape brings his future into question.
Travis Swanson – Like Johnson, he’s nothing more than a band aid to finish out the season on a broken offensive line.
Sam Young – The swing tackle needs to be a viable option at both positions. Young can play right tackle, but his brief showing on the left side cost Miami a game in Cincinnati this year.
Andre Branch – The contract was never a good idea and Miami can finally get out of it after this season.
Akeem Spence – Spence’s splash plays as an aggressive one-gap penetrator have been few and far between. He’s too easily caught up in the wash.
Ziggy Hood – See Swanson and Johnson explanations, only on the D-line.
Sylvester Williams – See above.
This evaluation will be revisited in seven weeks when the season comes to its conclusion in Buffalo. The 18 players listed the final category would be about an average turnover for an NFL franchise, so Miami aren’t in bad shape as far as reshuffling the personnel for 2019.
The key, obviously, will be identifying the future at the quarterback position. Adam Gase likely gets one shot at finding his signal-caller.
The immediate future of the franchise depends on that one decision.
Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update
Get used to this mantra, Miami Dolphins fans: Adapt or Die.
You might not find it printed on training camp t-shirts for the team to sport around, but you can expect head coach Brian Flores to repeat this line often. It’s about to become ingrained in both us and the players.
Flores spoke briefly with reporters before the team finished up their 3-day “voluntary” workout and gets ready for the upcoming NFL draft.
If you’ve heard these kind of comments before, it’s because Flores has nailed the proper, cliche proper press conference etiquette. Answers are “insightful”, but vague. He gives you an answer while also laying out all other possibilities. That said, he’ll sometimes respond with some sarcasm and wit that’ll reassure you that there is a personality inside of him.
If there is one thing we can take away from Flores’ demeanor and message, it’s that he isn’t about to tolerate the type of locker room culture that festered in Miami under Adam Gase. There will be both accountability and self-reflection; and that’s reassuring after witnessing Gase deflect blame to everyone but himself.
With the most important day of the offseason just one week away, we take a look at what Flores had to say at his press conference earlier this morning:
On the Draft:
Most important measuring tool?:
“Combination of production. Height. Weight. Speed. Intangibles. Fit. There’s a myriad of things there. To say it’s just one thing that’s important…they’re all important.”
“Is one more important than the other, I’d say no.”
“It’s the total fit of the player and how we feel they’ll fit with our team.”
Combine/Visits, what do you get out of it?:
“Try to get to know the person, that’s a big part of this.”
“Sometimes people see players as just players. You want to know about their mom, their dad, who was an important person in their life. What kind of adversity they have faced before. Does that person fit your style as a coach, your locker room, the culture you’re trying to build as a team. When you sit down with a player, you’re just trying to get to know him.”
I think Dolphins fans know this all too well after the Dez Bryant/Jeff Ireland prostitution episode back in 2010.
Flores’ Influence in the Draft:
“Chris and I definitely work well together. We speak the same language….when we come together it’s the same (language)”
“Have had (and) will have discussions on different scenarios (throughout the draft)”
On his New/Hybrid Defense:
What kind of players do you need for your Hybrid defense?:
“We need good players.”
“I think as a coach, you get a good player, (and you ask yourself) what does he do well? You try and do that.”
“That’s the good thing about having a versatile scheme, it fits a good player.”
“You try and get the best player and I feel me and my staff can fit what we’re going to do around that player.”
“Some guys are going to have a better fit than others, but you have to put the whole fit together.”
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 17, 2019
On Identity of this Team:
“You know, call it what you want.”
“I’m going to get my team to play hard. Play together. Play with good fundamentals and technique. Play as a team. Put the team first. You have to try and get 11 guys to play together and that’s a hard thing to accomplish as a coach.”
“That’s my goal, you can call it whatever you want. ‘The Patriot Way’….to me, it’s just good football.”
Flores seems to understand that he’s going to live under Bill Belichick‘s shadow for awhile, especially if he is unsuccessful. Seems like he’s also getting a little tired of it….and I kind of like it. I’m glad he’ll have this chip on his shoulder to prove that he isn’t just a Belichick clone. Then again, judging by all Flores has gone through, he doesn’t need this chip to drive him.
Does he expect his players to be on time?:
“If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late you’re forgotten.”
“Is it a rule, no, it’s my personal mantra.”
“I have a lot of respect for time. I think it’s precious; we shouldn’t take it for granted. If you want to stay on schedule you have to stay on time.”
“We have a schedule, it’s laid out pretty well.”
There is absolutely no bull**** from Brian Flores when it comes to practice! That’s not to say Adam Gase or any of the other prior head coaches were more-lenient, but you get the feeling that Flores isn’t going to tolerate players who believe they are bigger than the team.
Gase showed a similar coaching style when he traded Jay Ajayi and released players like Byron Maxwell and Jordan Phillips, but that never translated to a productive locker room culture. It’ll be interesting to see how Flores’ style compares.
On His “Right-Hand Man”:
“Pick any of the 20 guys, they’re all my right-hand men.”
“We work well together. (We) try and put a staff together that embodies what I want our team to reflect.
“I want to be tough, I want to be smart, I want to work well together.”
On Mike Gesicki:
“Mike is a good, young player. Talented. Like everyone else on this team, there are places he can improve, develop, get better. As a young player, there’s a lot of room for development. Mike’s working hard. We see what everyone else sees: he has size, speed, can catch the ball.”
On Raekwon McMillian and Jerome Baker:
“Raekwon is big. Fast. Physical. (Has) good leadership. Smart. Can play a few different positions. (A) good, young player.”
“Jerome is another skilled player. Fast. Good tackler. Raekwon is a good tackler as well. Smart. Can do a few different things. Can cover; which, obviously in this league, going in a passing direction, it’s good to have an LB that can cover.”
“We’re glad to have them both.”
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 18, 2019
On Jake Rudock and Luke Falk:
“Like everyone else, they’re working hard. They are doing everything possible to try and improve their techniques, fundamentals. Footwork. Ball Handling. They’re doing a really good job. All 3 quarterbacks.”
“We’re excited to see what they can do moving forward.”
Flores couldn’t be more generic with the assessment of his players. Even going back to when he discussed Charles Harris at a previous press conference, Flores tends to speak about his players vaguely, as if to avoid tipping his hand in any regard.
From a player’s perspective, it’s nice to know your coach won’t throw you under the bus and will keep things private. From our fan perspective, it means we just have to go through every possible adjective and scenario with him. He’s not lying when one of them has to be true.
On his Mother’s Passing:
“It was hard. She’s someone I think about on a daily basis. Wish she was here to enjoy this with us, but she’s with me all the time.”
“She wouldn’t’ want me to dwell or be upset and she would want me to have peace.”
“I’m sad. I’m unhappy. I miss her. But I have peace knowing I did everything I can to make her proud.”
On New Surprises as a Head Coach:
“(I have had) A lot of conversations with head coaches around the league…one thing they said is something would come across your desk every day.”
“(That’s) kind of my approach coming in, being adaptable. A mantra of our team: ‘adapt or die’.”
“Part of (the job) is allowing other people to lead.”
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media ahead of voluntary minicamp. https://t.co/9ttTAJHL2R
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 18, 2019
Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown
Future opponents are known years in advance in the NFL. With the exception of two games decided by divisional standing finish, fourteen opponents are determined based on the schedule rotation. The order in which those games will occur, like everything else the NFL does, has become a primetime event.
While the luck of the draw factors heavily (in-season injuries, particular teams playing their best/worst ball at a certain time of year, etc.) the order of the games provides intriguing details.
Traveling for a Thursday night game, for instance, is an extreme disadvantage for the visitor. The infamous “trap game” can occur when a team faces a lesser opponent before taking on a heavyweight. Lastly, for a team like the Dolphins, weather implications are always worth noting.
This column refers to the favors, or lack thereof, that the NFL gave the Dolphins based purely on travel, trap games, etcetera.
Week 1 – BALTIMORE RAVENS – September 8, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Ravens Sandwich Game: Week 2 Cardinals
September victories are difficult to come by for teams visiting Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins haven’t lost such an affair since 2015 with a multitude of early-season upsets under the franchise’s belt this century (2014 vs. New England and 2005 vs. Denver, most notably).
Baltimore’s ground-and-pound attack could have a converse affect, however, as the Dolphins defensive conditioning will have to be on-point from the word go.
Week 2 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – September 15, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh, Week 3 vs. NY Jets
New England’s 2018 meltdown in Miami came one week prior to a trip to Heinz Field. Now, the Pats will travel back to Tom Brady’s house of horrors in Miami one week after kicking the season off in primetime against those same Steelers.
This won’t serve as a trap game given the recent outcomes of games between these two teams, but Miami is catching the Pats at the right time. Over the last two seasons New England are just 4-4 in the first quarter of the schedule (September games), a .250-point decrease in winning percentage from their cumulative record.
Week 3 – @ Dallas Cowboys – September 22, 1:00 EST AT&T Stadium
Cowboys Sandwich Games: Week 2 @ Washington, Week 4 @ Saints
This is a classic trap game for the Cowboys. Coming off a game with its biggest rival, then heading to the toughest building to play in, in the NFC, the opportunity for Miami to steal a road win against a sleep-walking favorite is in the cards.
Week 4 – Los Angeles Chargers- September 29, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Chargers Sandwich Games: Week 3 @Texans, Week 5 Broncos
The early time slot for a west coast team is one of the biggest advantages, statistically, in football. The Chargers historically struggle in Miami but the talent discrepancy is probably too great for any of these advantages to factor in.
Week 5 – BYE WEEK
After a week-11 bye last year, Miami gets the burden of an early off-week. The Dolphins will play out the string for 12 weeks with zero breaks in between.
Week 6 – Washington – October 13, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Washington Sandwich Games: Week 5 @Patriots, Week 7 49ers
A let down following a potential beat down in New England bodes well for Miami. Washington is probably the one team on this entire schedule that Miami can matchup with from a talent perspective.
Week 7 – @ Buffalo Bills – October 20, 1:00 EST New Era Field
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 6 BYE, Week 8 Eagles
Miami’s first game against a team coming off a bye, in a building that has only provided the setting for one Miami win in the last five years, this one stacks the deck against the Dolphins.
Week 8 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers – October 28, 5:25 EST MONDAY Heinz Field
Steelers Sandwich Games: Week 7 BYE, Week 9 Colts
Another game, another opponent coming off of a bye. The Steelers will have the benefit of a 15-day break prior to lacing it up for Miami in primetime. The Dolphins road primetime woes should be noted as well – Miami are 0-for-it’s-last 8 in those games.
Week 9 – New York Jets – November 3, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 8 @Jaguars, Week 10 Giants
The Adam Gase game will certainly have both teams on notice. The man that holds a grudge like no other will certainly have this date circled on his calendar, as will the countless Dolphins players that grew tired of Gase’s shtick. This might be the most entertaining football game Miami plays all season.
Week 10 – @ Indianapolis Colts – November 10, 1:00 EST Lucas Oil Stadium
Colts Sandwich Games: Week 9 @Steelers, Week 11 Jaguars
With a potentially crucial divisional game on-deck with the Jaguars, the Colts could fall victim to overlooking Miami here. The Colts are a difficult out in that building and are quietly building up one of the most talented rosters in the AFC.
Week 11 – Buffalo Bills – November 17, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 10 @Browns, Week 12 Broncos
Divisional games rarely adhere to traditional trap procedures. Ideally the Dolphins would catch the Bills in September, but the week-7 trip to Western New York offsets the lack of weather advantages. This game should see peak effort from both teams.
Week 12 – @ Cleveland Browns – November 24, 1:00 EST First Energy Stadium
Browns Sandwich Games: Week 11 Steelers (TNF), Week 13 @Steelers
Somehow the NFL has this strange scheduling procedure where teams play each other twice over a three-week period. Cleveland sandwiches its two games with the Steelers with a home date against your Miami Dolphins – that’s the ultimate trap.Cleveland’s benefit comes from having 10 days to prepare for Brian Flores and Miami.
Week 13 – Philadelphia Eagles – December 1, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Eagles Sandwich Games: Week 12 Seahawks, Week 14 Giants
With a pivotal NFC matchup on the front end, and a divisional game on the backend, Philadelphia is in a potential trap game situation. The Dolphins home field advantage serves as another beneficial factor in this game as the weather contract between Philadelphia and Miami, in December, is stark.
Week 14 – @ New York Jets – December 8, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 13 @Bengals, Week 15 @Ravens (TNF)
The game before a road trip on a short week typically favors the opposition – that’s the spot the Adam Gase finds himself in here when the Jets welcome Miami to the Meadowlands. With two NFC games bookending this game for the Dolphins, this is a great spot for Miami to steal a road win.
Week 15 – @ New York Giants – December 15, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Giants Sandwich Games: Week 14 @Eagles, Week 16 @ Washington
This is a trap game for both teams, believe it or not. A non-conference game, sandwiched by two divisional games, has the makings for a let down on either side. If the season plays out as expected, this game could have massive implications on the race for Tua Tagovailoa.
Week 16 – Cincinnati Bengals – December 22, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bengals Sandwich Games: Week 15 @Patriots, Week 17 Browns
Like the previous game, this might set up as a draft positioning game. Both teams that figure to finish at, or near, the bottom of their respective divisions, playing out the string with rookie coaches, there isn’t much of an advantage to take away from this one.
Week 17 – @ New England Patriots – December 29, 1:00 EST Gillette Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 16 Bills
For the second consecutive year, the Patriots finish the season with two divisional home games – seems fishy, doesn’t it? The only potential saving grace here, for the ‘Phins, is that New England could have the AFC East wrapped up, as they typically do every year.
This is, no doubt, a difficult road to hoe for Miami. The order of the games, the stacks of road trips, it’s a lot to put on the plate of a first year head coach trying to set a foundation.
The troops of the tank train should be satisfied with this gamete — it likely puts Miami in a hole that will be difficult to climb out of, especially given Ryan Fitzpatrick’s medical history.
For more on this schedule, tune in to the Locked On Dolphins podcast – your daily dose of Miami Dolphins football.
Miami Dolphins Complete 2019 Schedule
Before ESPN, NFL Network, local beat writers – before anybody on the scene, Locked On Dolphins broke the 2018 Dolphins schedule. 2019 is shaping up to be the same. Keep it locked on this thread for updates from our source in the industry to get you the latest on Miami’s 2019 slate.
After the schedule release we will break things down with a column similar to the last year’s analysis.
Tomorrow’s Locked On Dolphins Podcast will be all about Miami’s 2019 schedule.
|5||—||— BYE WEEK–||—|
|8||10/28||@ Steelers||8:15 MNF|
*BOLD denotes home game
- Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update April 18, 2019
- Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown April 17, 2019
- Miami Dolphins Complete 2019 Schedule April 17, 2019
- Chris Grier Updates Status of Miami Dolphins – 4/17/19 April 17, 2019
- Miami Dolphins Voluntary Workout Update – 4/17/19 April 17, 2019