The Dolphins schedule is out! Based on last years win percentages, the Dolphins have the 2nd hardest schedule. Here are my Dolphins predictions for Weeks 1-8.
Week 1- at Patriots(1:00) Prediction- Win
Week 1 is the start of a season! A win or loss can set the tone of the season and the Patriots definitely don't want the same result as the last time they played the Dolphins and the last time they played a regular season game. There are doubts that Tua Tagovailoa will play this game because it is Week 1 and he is a rookie. It doesn't matter whether Tua or Ryan Fitzpatrick play, because either scenario will result in a Dolphins win. The Patriots are most likely to go with Stidham Week 1 and this will be his first career NFL start. There doesn't seem to be anything special about him yet. Belichick can turn him into a great QB, but not Week 1. As a result, I have the Dolphins winning Week 1. This game will be the return to Gillette Stadium for Kyle Van Noy, Ted Karras and Elandon Roberts who were acquired this offseason. Every stadium on Week 1 including Gillette Stadium should have a sold out crowd, but that won't effect the result of this game. On the last game of the season last year, Gillette Stadium was full and the Patriots knew they had to win for a bye, but that didn't affect the Dolphins so I don't see the Dolphins losing Week 1.
Week 2- vs Bills(1:00) Prediction- Loss
This is the Dolphins home opener but the Bills won't be distracted. The Bills are the favorites for winning the division, and I think it will happen. The Bills signed Stefon Diggs this offseason and he can change a win to a loss. I know this because on the Vikings, he was the key to the Minneapolis Miracle and this miracle changed a loss to a win. The Bills also have a great defense headed by Tre'Davious White and Tremaine Edmunds. This could possibly be Tua's first game in the NFL if he doesn't play Week 1, but that doesn't give the Dolphins an advantage or disadvantage. Yes, Tua is probably better than Fitzpatrick but it won't make a difference in this game whether Tua plays or not.
Week 3- at Jaguars(TNF-8:20) Prediction- Win
It's a Prime Time game and it's the only Dolphins Prime Time game! This is a night game on the other side of Florida for the Dolphins but the Dolphins should come out with a win. The Jaguars have a talented defense but they are young. With Minshew at QB, the Dolphins will win but maybe if the Jaguars have Cam Newton, there will be a different outcome.
Week 4- vs Seahawks(1:00) Prediction- Loss
This is the Dolphins toughest opponent so far and could be the toughest all season. The Seahawks should get an easy win against the Dolphins. D.K Metcalf had a monster year last year and with Russel Wilson at the QB position against the Dolphins, the Seahawks should win. The Dolphins defense did get better, but it is still a bottom 15 defense and they will have trouble boxing in Russel Wilson.
Week 5- at 49ers(4:05) Prediction- Loss
The NFC champions are facing off against the Dolphins. This should be an easy win for San Francisco and should be the Dolphins 2nd straight loss. The Dolphins have a disadvantage because this is their second week in a row with a tough opponent. The Seahawks and the 49ers are the Dolphins two toughest opponents and they are on back to back weeks. The 49ers have such a well-coached and developed offense even with the loss of Emmanuel Sanders. George Kittle will feast again at the tight end position. Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the league and is such a great pass catcher and blocker. Speaking of Kittle's blocking skills, he provides room on the field for the 49ers running backs to move. The 49ers have two great running backs and even a fullback in Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Kyle Juszczyk. The 49ers use their fullback the most out of any team and this should continue. Jimmy Garrapolo should also have a similar year as last year as he will continue to hand the ball off a lot.
Week 6- at Broncos(4:05) Prediction- Loss
This is my toughest decision out of any other matchup, and the deciding factor is that the game is in Denver. Teams like the Dolphins always have trouble in high altitude games. Not just this, Denver fans do make differences in games. The Broncos have the best duo running backs in the league in Phillip Lindsay and new running back Melvin Gordon. This will be a close game and it could go either way. The Broncos did draft star wide receiver from Alabama in Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy will be one of the best rookie wide receivers this year and could make the biggest impact.
Week 7- vs Chargers(1:00) Prediction- Win
This could be a great rookie matchup between Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. The Chargers do have a star wide receiver in Keenan Allen. The Chargers did lose star Melvin Gordon this offseason but they still have Austin Ekeler who will have a big year because he finally has the first spot on the depth chart. The Dolphins should win this game at home. Tua is better than Herbert if he stays healthy and if Tua is healthy in this game, the Dolphins win. Fitzpatrick can even help the Dolphins win this game if Tua doesn't play.
Week 8- vs Rams(1:00) Prediction- Win
This is the Dolphins first 2nd home game in a row and it happens to be against the two Los Angeles teams. The Rams have declined last year and this offseason. They lost star running back Todd Gurley this offseason to the Falcons. The Rams did draft a running back with their first pick who will get a lot of playing time this year along with Malcolm Brown. The Dolphins should be able to get to Goff in the pocket. The Rams receiving game will be okay this season. The Rams did draft wide receiver Van Jefferson from Florida adding on to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
Isaac Edelman covers the New York Mets, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat and Florida Panthers, as well as breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
In Weeks 1-8, I have the Dolphins going 4-4.
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