Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Assessing The Miami Dolphins Schedule: The First Eight Games

The Miami Dolphins schedule was released back in May and provided the season goes ahead, there is just over two months left before the season starts.

The Miami Dolphins went 5-11 in 2019 and there is plenty of optimism from fans after the off season additions of Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson and Tua Tagovailoa. 

Lets have a look at how the Dolphins 2020 schedule may go in the first eight games. 

Week 1: At The New England Patriots

The Patriots may have lost Tom Brady in the 2020 off season but they still have the greatest head coach in history in Bill Belichik.

Wide receiver Devante Parker gave Patriots cornerback and 2019 Defensive Player Of The Year Stephon Gilmore a tough game in the week 17 and he will hope to do the same again to the defensive back.

Foxborough has notoriously been a difficult place to go, with Miami’s win in New England in week 17 of the 2019 season being their first since the 2008 season.

Mike Gesicki scored the winning touchdown in the 27-24 win.

The 2008 season saw Tom Brady get injured in week 1 and miss the whole season. 

Miami Dolphins fans will take optimism from the fact that Tom Brady is no longer with the Patriots, however with the news that Cam Newton is now a New England Patriot will worry alot of Miami Dolphins fans. 

I do not feel that Newton will have the impact that alot are predicting but i do think he will have a brilliant debut in New England and will get the win. 

Week 2: Vs The Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are the favourites for the AFC East, with the way they performed last season in almost winning the division. 

They got wide receiver Steffon Diggs in the off season to give quarterback Josh Allen a legitimate number one receiver.

The Bills reached the wildcard round in the 2019, being defeated by the Houston Texans.

The Bills have won their last three games against the Miami Dolphins and have won five and lost five in Miami in the 2010s. 

I expect this to be a close encounter but with the heat and home advantage, I think the Miami Dolphins will get the win. 

Week 3: At The Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are in disarray and are tipped to be the worst team in the NFL in 2020. 

The Trevor Lawrence favourites will be in a desperate situation and despite being at home, will arguably be the Miami Dolphins’ easiest opponent in 2020. 

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is one of the biggest prospects in recent history.

I am expecting a brilliant performance from the Miami Dolphins and perhaps even a victory by double figures. 

Week 4: Vs The Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 29: The Seattle Seahawks huddle as they take on the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on December 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images).

The Seattle Seahawks will come into this game the heavy favourites and with the league’s current second best quarterback in Russell Wilson and a top head coach in Pete Carroll, this will unfortunately bring the Miami Dolphins to a 2-2 record with defeat at home to the Seahawks.

Week 5: At The San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks’ NFC West divisional rivals San Francisco may have lost in Super Bowl 54 but they still have an excellent team and will be victorious here.

From the terrifying pass rush of Nick Bosa to the toughness of the best tight end in the business in George Kittle.

From the young and exciting head coach Kyle Shanahan and the former Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Moestert, who ran for four touchdown in last seasons NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers.

Moestert during the NFC Championship.

The San Francisco are a scary prospect and even though Miami Dolphins will show plenty of progression in the 2020 season, they are not quite there in the rebuilding process to be able to compete with the likes of San Francisco.

Week 6: At The Denver Broncos

The Broncos are an interesting outfit. Drew Lock looked the real deal but he only played five games. The addition of wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in the 2020 Draft is a great pick but you cannot judge him without seeing him make the transition from college football to the NFL.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio appears to getting Denver back to old times with a brilliant defensive outfit that includes Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Chubb had a promising first season in the NFL in 2018 and will hope to bounce back from his injury filled 2019 sophomore season.

Fangio was defensive coordinator in Chicago during the Bears’ 2018 season where they went 12-4.

Denver look more likely to win this game with the home advantage and i feel their defence will be tough to stop. The Miami Dolphins secondary may be enough to stop the Denver offence but i feel that Denver will sneak the win, bringing the Dolphins to a 2-4 record. 

Week 7: Vs The Los Angeles Chargers

Here is a game I believe that the Miami Dolphins will win to bring them to a 3-4 record. Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the quarterback that starts under centre for the Chargers and he is not going to be able to hand them a win. 

Keenan Allen’s production will be minimised by either Xavien Howard or Byron Jones. Whoever stops Allen, the other Miami Dolphins corner will be able to stop the other wide receiver options. 

Keenan Allen is the Chargers’ only real threat out wide so Miami Dolphins will be confident of the safeties and corners stopping them playing at their best. 

The Chargers’ secondary is a concern but if Parker can out-battle Stephon Gilmore then he can certainly manage to beat the likes of Derwin James either in man to man or zone coverage. 

Derwin James only played five games in 2019 due to injury, after a rookie season in 2018 that saw him go to the Pro Bowl.

Week 8: Vs The Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have gone from playing in Super Bowl 53 to arguably now being the fourth best team in their division.

Head coach Sean McVay has gone from being held a genuis before the 2019 season to now having his head coaching abilities questioned.

Miami Dolphins’ defensive outfit will hope to put pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff who had a disappointing Super Bowl and subsequent 2019 season. 

Goff and McVay during Super Bowl 53.

The Rams have added to their offensive line to give Goff support. Should Van Noy, Lawson, Christian Wilkins or Emanuel Obgah win the defensive line and offensive line battle, the Rams will struggle to get going and Goff will be affected.

The Miami Dolphins will have a task against Jalen Ramsey but if Parker, Albert Wilson or Preston Williams can beat Ramsey one on one then this will free up the other wideout to make some crucial receptions and get at this defence. 

Aaron Donald is still the best defensive player in the game and this could be time for Austin Jackson to announce himself to the world if he can stop Donald getting to the quarterback.

Whether that be Tua or Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Miami Dolphins will get the win in the Hard Rock Stadium and turn their record to 4-4. 

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