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Week-By-Week Match-Ups for Miami’s Loaded Edge Rushers

Skyler Trunck

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Consisting of second year player, Charles Harris; returners, William Hayes and Andre Branch; recent signees, Robert Quinn; and who can forget all-pro, Cameron Wake, it’s hard to argue this is one of the deepest and strongest positions on Miami roster this year.

It’s a loaded lineup, but how much success will this unit face this year? Let’s take a look at a week by week break-down of what tackles these defensive ends will pair against this upcoming 2018 season.

Notes:

  • List assumes we see Robert Quinn primarily at the right defensive end spot (facing left tackles) and Cameron Wake Wake at his perennial left defensive end spot (facing right tackles) to start of the year.
  • “Difficulty rank” shows how difficult the matchups will be in comparison to the rest of the schedule, with 13 being the hardest and 1 the easiest. This ranking is based on grades handed by Pro Football Focus (PFF) among starting tackles only.

 

Week 1 — Tennessee

Left Tackle: Taylor Lewan
Right Tackle: Jack Conklin

This will be the toughest matchup for the defensive end unit this season — nothing like diving head first into the season. Jack Conklin is a former All-pro, and on the other end is multi-pro-bowler, Taylor Lewan.

The only silver-lining for Miami, right tackle Conklin is coming off an ACL tear from the divisional round this past year. Although it is likely he will suit up week 1, his rehab will knock him out most of training camp and preseason. Look for Tennessee to scheme more protection Conklin’s way opening up more 1-on-1 matchups with Quinn and Lewan.

At least it can only get easier from here.

Difficulty rank: 13/13


Week 2 & 9 — New York Jets

Left Tackle: Kelvin Beachum
Right Tackle: Brandon Shell

Starting 30 games between the two, Beachum and Shell allowed 14 sacks, which lands them nearly at the top of the most sacks allowed by a pair of tackles.

Given the youth of this offense, it may be a good thing to catch New York early. Look for a strong rebound this week if Miami struggles against Tennessee’s star bookend tackles.

Difficulty rank: 6/13


Week 3 — Oakland

Left Tackle: Donald Penn
Right Tackle: Kolton Miller

Penn has been a solid starter throughout his career, only missing 2 games over the last 10 years. Quinn may have a more difficult time with this matchup, but on the other end, Wake may put up some numbers.

Rookie Miller came out of the draft with a lot of question marks. With it being early in the season, it’s unlikely his weaknesses will be shored up in time for this matchup. Look for Wake to capitalize on any 1-on-1 matchups he has with the rookie.

Difficulty rank: 5/13


Week 4 & 14 — New England

Left Tackle: Trent Brown
Right Tackle: Marcus Cannon

This offseason, New England saw the departure of 7 year starter, Nate Solder; however, in typical New England fashion, they brought in a more than suitable replacement in Brown in yet another trade with San Francisco. Before going down with a shoulder injury, Brown played 10 games allowing only 1 sack. It’s likely he’ll be placed on the left side opposite another 8 year starter in Cannon.

In the past, with an experienced pair of tackles, and a quick release passing offense funneled through Tom Brady, it has always been difficult to convert pressure into sacks. It’s likely we don’t see much different this year.

Difficulty rank: 11/13


Week 5 — Cincinnati

Left Tackle: Cordy Glenn
Right Tackle: Jake Fisher

Miami should be familiar with recent addition Glenn from his days in Buffalo, who had his 2017 campaign cut short after a plague of injuries. The last time Miami faced a Buffalo line with Cordy Glenn, Miami posted 4 sacks.

As the theme continues, on the opposite side is Fisher, another player who had his 2017 season end early after 7 games. When they were playing last year, between the two tackles, the pair averaged nearly 1 sack allowed per game.

Miami will have to be quick off the edge as quarterback Andy Dalton averaged a 2.48 second release, which was one of the lowest in the league.

Difficulty rank: 3/13


Week 6 — Chicago

Left Tackle: Charles Leno Jr.
Right Tackle: Bobby Massie

With the addition of James Daniels in the draft, Chicago should field one of the better offensive lines in the league. Leno Jr., despite being a 7th round pick only a couple years back, has played much better than expected, coming in as the 15th ranked tackle (according to PFF).

On the other end, Massie will probably be the weakest link on this offensive line. Cameron Wake should be able to make a big impact in the passing game against a young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky.

Difficult rank: 9/13


Week 7 — Detroit

Left Tackle: Taylor Decker
Right Tackle: Rick Wagner

Decker suffered a shoulder injury last offseason which kept him out the first 8 games of last year. Coming back for the final 8, he had a less than spectacular showing allowing 4 sacks. Wagner, on the opposite end, allowed 6 sacks last year in the 13 games he played.

Detroit will have a sneaky good offensive line next year, but that doesn’t mean opportunities won’t be there for Miami’s ends.

Difficult rank: 8/13


Week 8 — Houston

Left Tackle: Julie’n Davenport
Right Tackle: Martinas Rankin

As a team, Houston gave up the second most sacks in the league with 54. This may be due to promising-star Deshaun Watson going down. However, it’s likely due to poor tackle play, which explains why they spent a third round pick on Martinas Rankin.

Davenport ranked in the lower tier of tackles last year, and it’s hard to think they’ll improve with schematic changes. When you also factor in Watson posted a league-high, average release time of 3.1 seconds last year, Miami’s ends should have plenty of time to get to the quarterback.

Difficult rank: 2/13


Week 10 — Green Bay

Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari
Right Tackle: Bryan Bulaga

In this matchup, Miami will be facing the #1 ranked tackle in Bakhtiari (according to PFF) who posted a 89.9 (out of 100) grade last year. It may be a rough outing for Robert Quinn, or anyone rushing off the right edge in this matchup.

Continuing with the injury theme among starting tackles, on the other end is Bulaga, who saw his 2017 season cut short after 5 games with a torn ACL. However, in those 5 games played, he only allowed one sack, which falls in line with his dominant 2016 season at right tackle.

With these tackles and a healthy Aaron Rodgers, Miami may need to get creative when applying pressure as it may be difficult to set the edge.

Difficult rank: 12/13


Week 11 — Bye


Week 12 — Indianapolis

Left Tackle: Anthony Castonzo
Right Tackle: Austin Howard

Indianapolis allowed a league-high 56 sacks last year, which tells us why they spent early picks on offensive lineman.

Castonzo is a solid left tackle, graded as the #10 tackle in the league by PFF; however, he has been known to let a fews sacks by allowing 6 last year. Howard was brought in to compete with 2017 right tackle, Joe Haeg. However, it’s expected Howard will win the right tackle starting job.

This will be a revamped unit from last year, especially with the return of Andrew Luck. The defense as a whole will need to step up for this one, especially if this game has wild card implications.

Difficult rank: 10/13


Week 13 & 17 — Buffalo

Left Tackle: Dion Dawkins
Right Tackle: Jordan Mills

This offseason saw the departure of 6 year tackle, Cordy Glenn. His spot was filled well by rookie Dawkins, who played respectively at the left tackle spot. On the opposite end is Mills, who gave up 2 sacks to Cameron Wake last year between both of their meetings.

Miami had 6 sacks last year in their two meetings with Buffalo. Dawkins will likely grow in his second year, but expect similar numbers for Miami against a young offense.

Difficulty rank: 7/13


Week 15 — Minnesota

Left Tackle: Riley Reiff
Right Tackle: Rashod Hill

A former first round pick in Reiff has been okay but hasn’t quite lived up to the early selection. On the other end, Hill was graded as the third worst tackle among starters (according to PFF).

Based on last year’s performance, this should be the most favorable matchup on the schedule for Miami’s ends. However, with the addition of Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook returning, and this game being late in the season, we may be seeing something entirely different from these tackles.

Difficulty rank: 1/13


Week 16 — Jacksonville

Left Tackle: Cam Robinson
Right Tackle: Jermey Parnell

On the right side, Parnell only allowed 1 sack in 13 games last year. However, the weak link here is Robinson, who graded in as the worst tackle among starters (according to PFF).

These matchups should be favorable for Miami’s ends. Although, with Jacksonville being a “run-first” offense, they (especially Quinn and Harris off the right side) will need to capitalize when given the opportunity.

Difficult rank: 4/13


I’d be interested to here what you think. Follow me on Twitter @skylertrunck and let’s discuss.

Skyler has been a fan of the Dolphins as far as his memory takes him. Hailing from a small town in Iowa, his passion for the Dolphins is only contested by his love of the game. Having coached football for 4 years, he continues to follow and study the game.

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Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

Shawn Digity

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Laremy Tunsil USA Today Sports
Laremy Tunsil taking on Khalil Mack. Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

The headline says it all; the Miami Dolphins have picked up Laremy Tunsil’s rookie contract fifth-year option. All 2016 first-round draftees are up for fifth-round options and the dominoes have started to fall with Tunsil.

The announcement tweet, which can be seen below, was broken on Twitter by Armando Salguero and shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Dolphins fans. Laremy Tunsil is one of the key cogs of the team and will be the cornerstone of an otherwise enfeebled offensive line that will likely be addressed in next week’s Draft.

Laremy Tunsil is the surest thing on the Dolphins o-line in a unit that has seen better days and will require two to three new starters. While Tunsil was a no-brainer for the Dolphins to pick up that fifth-round option on, they’ll likely have to extend him at some point, which won’t come cheap since he’s one of the rising stars at left tackle.

But Laremy Tunsil is secured through the 2020 season. I hope between now and then the Dolphins spearhead an extension and get Tunsil locked up a little bit longer. Success in the trenches will start with Tunsil at left tackle and the Fins can fill in the rest during the draft.

Laremy Tunsil will realistically become the highest-paid left tackle at some point in the next few years, and the Dolphins would be wise to get ahead of the curve for that. I think that will happen.

The current frontrunner for left-tackle contracts is the Oakland Raiders’ Trent Brown, and he is making an APY (average per year) of $16.5 million with. The top ten left tackles are making from the aforementioned $16.5 million to $12 million for Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari, Kansas City’s Eric Fisher, and Cincinnati’s Cordy Glenn.

There’s an average APY of $14 million, but I expect Laremy Tunsil to eventually be well above that average when the time comes–I foresee the Dolphins making him the highest paid left tackle, remember. Full guarantees on those top-ten contracts are running between $16 and $36 million, so there’s much more variability with those portions of the contract.

Good and great left tackles aren’t cheap. Laremy Tunsil will break the bank in a few years and will be the highest paid left tackle if the Miami Dolphins intend on making him their franchise LT for years to come.

Laremy Tunsil was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL draft after an unfortunate and unfair draft-day tumble that gave the team a golden opportunity. The 2016 class has proven to be extremely fruitful (for the most part). Along with Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, and Jakeem Grant were selected in the second, third and sixth rounds, respectively, and all have made major contributions in one form or another.

Exercising Tunsil’s fifth-year option is good news for Fins fans. It’s not a blockbuster trade or a splash signing, but taking care of the best players already on the team before it snowballs out of control a la Jarvis Landry or Ju’Wuan James is a step in the right direction. And while exercising Tunsil’s option is an obvious choice, it’s still an encouraging sign nonetheless.

All contractual information courtesy of Over the Cap.

 

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Miami Dolphins

Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Miami Dolphins / Jason Hrina

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 prepares for the upcoming NFL draft.

If you’ve heard these kind of comments before, it’s because Flores has nailed the proper, cliche  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 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.”

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 McMillan 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.”

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.”

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown

Travis Wingfield

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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

Dec 9, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs the ball after a flea flicker play to score a touchdown to defeat the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase looks on during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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.

@WingfieldNFL

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