Week 1: Sun., Sept. 10, 1 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This will be the Dolphins’ second time opening at home in the past six seasons. Miami and Tampa Bay don’t meet often, and they’ve split their 10 games dating back to 1976. With Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Buccaneers were on the cusp of the NFC playoff field last season and look like a rising team. It’s a solid challenge for Miami to start the season.
Week 2: Sun., Sept. 17, 4 p.m. at Los Angeles Chargers
In another odd venue game, this one puts the Dolphins in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium south of Los Angeles. The Chargers will play there until the megaplex they’ll share with the Rams is completed. The Dolphins knocked off the Chargers in San Diego last year as part of a six-game winning streak and have won 3 of 4 in the series.
Week 3: Sun., Sept. 24, 1 p.m. at New York Jets
The Dolphins will be a little jet-lagged early in the week coming off their cross-country trip to Los Angeles, but they shouldn’t have much trouble with the Jets. Miami swept them last year and blasted them 34-13 at MetLife Stadium late in the season. New York hasn’t gotten much better this offseason, and the Dolphins have a reasonable shot at starting 3-0.
Week 4: Sun, Oct. 1, 9:30 a.m. vs. New Orleans Saints (London)
The Dolphins gave up a home game in part to give themselves a chance at hosting a Super Bowl, which they’ll do in 2020. Miami was the first team to play in London when it faced the Giants in 2007 and went back in ’14 and ’15. Wembley Stadium has been the site for all four appearances.
Week 5: Sun., Oct. 8, 1 p.m. vs. Tennessee Titans
This could be a compelling matchup as both teams had surprisingly good seasons last year and look to be on their way up. The Titans shredded Miami 30-17 at Hard Rock Stadium in 2016 right before the Dolphins opened up a six-game winning streak.
Week 6: Sun., Oct. 15, 1 p.m. at Atlanta Falcons
Miami will play in several intriguing stadiums this season, including the brand new $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That venue will host the Super Bowl in 2019. The Falcons are coming off an 11-5 season in which they were minutes away from winning the championship.
Week 7: Sun., Oct. 22, 1 p.m. vs. New York Jets
Another relatively early Jets game for the Dolphins, who slipped past them at Hard Rock Stadium 27-23 last season. New York had the fourth-worst point differential in the league last year.
Week 8: Thu., Oct. 26, 8:25 p.m. at Baltimore Ravens
The Dolphins have drawn Baltimore in five straight seasons and this is their second year in a row visiting the Ravens. Miami lost all but one of those games and will have a brutal time going on the road in a short week.
Week 9: Sun., Nov. 5, 8:30 p.m. vs. Oakland Raiders
Since Sunday Night Football established itself as the premier game of the week, Miami’s only appearance came in 2010. The Dolphins put themselves back in the national consciousness with last year’s run to the playoffs. As it stands, they will host the Raiders this season then visit them in their new Las Vegas home in 2021. Oakland was a Super Bowl contender before losing quarterback Derek Carr late in the season, and he’ll be back to full strength this year. Miami has beaten the Raiders five straight times.
Week 10: Mon., Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m. at Carolina Panthers
This is the Dolphins’ first Monday Night Football game since losing to the Giants in December 2015. Carolina is the rarest opponent in Dolphins history; this will be merely the sixth matchup between the franchises. Miami have faced Cam Newton once in his six-year career, a 2013 loss at home, and hasn’t played in Charlotte, N.C. since winning there in ‘09.
Week 11: Bye week
The Dolphins asked not to have their bye week after the London game, which is customary, and the NFL obliged. Miami’s preference was to have it more toward the middle of the season.
Week 12: Sun., Nov. 26, 1 p.m. at New England Patriots
Here’s step one of Jarvis Landry’s plan to sweep the Patriots: beat them at Gillette Stadium coming off a bye. The Dolphins came up short in a frantic comeback bid at New England last year and have not won there since 2008.
Week 13: Sun., Dec. 3, 1 p.m. vs. Denver Broncos
Adam Gase will face his old team for the first time as a head coach and square off with former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, now Denver’s head coach. Gase was the Broncos’ receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2009 through ’14.
Week 14: Mon., Dec. 11, 8:30 p.m. vs. New England Patriots
This will be the first Monday Night Football game in South Florida in two years and it comes against Miami’s most important opponent. If all goes well for the Dolphins, they’ll be battling to stay in the AFC East hunt when this comes up in the schedule.
Week 15: Sun., Dec. 17, 1 p.m. at Buffalo Bills
Miami ended a four-game drought at Buffalo by winning a wild one on Christmas Eve last season. With the Bills in a seemingly constant state of dysfunction, there’s decent reason to believe they’ll have checked out by this point.
Week 16: Sun., Dec. 24, 1 p.m. at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium is a rough place for opponents, but the Dolphins have been successful there in recent trips. They won in Kansas City 31-3 in 2011 and 38-31 in ’08. This Chiefs team has been among the best in the league during the regular season lately, however, going 43-21 the last four years.
Week 17: Sun., Dec. 17, 1 p.m. vs. Buffalo Bills
This looks much better for the Dolphins than ending the season against New England, which is who they drew at the close of the 2015 and ’16 seasons. A weird scheduling quirk has them playing the Bills twice in a three-week span, but they should be happy about getting a lighter opponent late in the season.
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