Saturday, January 20, 2024

3 Must-See Matchups in 2021 for the Dolphins

This upcoming NFL season for the Miami Dolphins is showing potential to be the most exciting season for Dolphins fans since their short-lived playoff run during the 2016-17 season. Back then Miami still had Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Jarvis Landry as their #1 receiver, and Jay Ajayi in their backfield.  5 years later Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and the rest of the Dolphins’ front office have assembled themselves an electrifying football team that is sure going to make its mark in this league for years to come. The official schedule was released on May 12th and the Dolphins will be kicking off their season Sunday September 12th at Gillette Stadium for a matchup against Cam Newton and the New England Patriots.

 Let’s look at three exciting matchups that you will not want to miss this season!

#1. Week 3 @Las Vegas

No Fitzmagic this time…

It’s safe to say that last year’s matchup against the Raiders will be at the near top of our lists for most exciting games we have ever witnessed as Dolphins fans. Kind of like a game you will always remember where you were when you saw Ryan Fitzpatrick complete that perfect pass in the closing minute of the 4th quarter to Mack Hollins while being pulled down by the face mask, Miami then completed the comeback in Vegas in a back-and-forth 4th quarter thanks to a 44-yard game-winning FG from Jason Sanders to win their 10th game of the season.

This will be a big challenge early in the season for Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, Tua struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive end last year in Vegas ending the game with only 94 yards and 1 touchdown on 17/22 passing, despite the Raiders being in the bottom 10 of the league in terms of passing defense.  Tua’s #1 option at receiver that night was TE Mike Gesicki who really wasn’t 100% due to the shoulder injury he sustained against Kansas City a couple of weeks before, he ended the game with 54 yards on 4 receptions. 

This year should be a completely different story as Tua will have a dangerous arsenal at receiver that includes Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and DeVante Parker, who the Dolphins were also without in last year’s matchup.  If you have ever been to a Raiders game you know how insane it can get from the energy their fans bring into the stadium, especially with the game taking place in their new arena in which they have yet to experience a game in yet. Should be a fun and exciting matchup during the early stages of the season.

Week 5 @Tampa Bay

We Meet Again Tom Brady….

2020 was the first season in 20 years that the Dolphins didn’t have to face Tom Brady during their two annual matchups with the New England Patriots. Over the course of that timespan Brady’s record against the Dolphins currently stands at 23-12, with 12 being the most losses against any other NFL team he has faced. Brady, who is now coming off his 7th Super Bowl championship, looks like he’s having the most fun he has ever had over the course of his NFL career. Miami’s defense will have their hands full with Tampa Bay’s wide receiver core that includes

  • Mike Evans
  • Chris Godwin
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Antonio Brown

Along with a dual threat in the backfield with Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette. 

We all know Miami’s defense was the story of 2020 coming up in ridiculous/ mind-blowing ways to seal multiple victories, especially in games where the offense couldn’t pull itself together. Both Miami and Tampa Bay found themselves among the league leaders in pass/rushing defense in the 2020 season, and now that Miami has completely rejuvenated their wide receiver core this offseason, week 5 against the defending Super Bowl champions is sure to be a thrilling matchup.

Week 16 @New Orleans

Primetime showdown in The Big Easy…

Miami will be in New Orleans this holiday season for a Monday night matchup against the Saints for the first time since 2017, where they fell to the Saints 20-0 in London.  This will be Miami’s first Monday Night Football matchup since the 2019 season where they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-19.  The Dolphins are 42-43 in MNF games.

It’s safe to assume we probably won’t know for sure what quarterback Miami’s defense will be facing till maybe halfway through the season as New Orleans’ QB spot remains a little uncertain with the legendary Drew Brees retiring at the end of last season, Will it be Taysom Hill, or will Jameis Winston get his time to shine? The Saints made a lot of moves this offseason that made us scratch our heads, like releasing key defensive players Kwon Alexander, and Janoris Jenkins. 

Regardless they will still have the services of WR Michael Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara which always makes an exhilarating matchup to watch.  Of course only time will tell, but this game can  have playoff implications written all over it when it approaches, and it will be quite a challenge for Tua and the Dolphins, especially in one of the loudest stadiums In the entire league. 

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