The NFL recently released part of next season' schedule, providing the opponents for each team and the location for those games. Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson took a look at the Miami Dolphins 2012 opponents, trying to see what the difficulty of that schedule will be for Miami.
The Dolphins are scheduled to host the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, the AFC West opponent that finishes in the same position as the Dolphins in the AFC East, and, of course, the three AFC East division rivals.
Miami will travel to the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, the AFC North opponent that finishes in the same position as the Dolphins in the AFC East, and the three division rivals.
Currently, the Dolphins would play the San Diego Chargers (last in the AFC West) in Miami, while traveling to Cleveland to take on the Browns (last in the AFC North). This would be the third straight year the Dolphins would play the Browns - Miami lost to Cleveland in 2010 and early this year.
This schedule means the Dolphins only face three non-AFC East opponents who currently have a winning record (Tennessee (6-5), Houston (8-3), and San Francisco (9-2). Assuming either Peyton Manning can come back healthy for the Colts, or Andrew Luck (the presumed top draft choice in April) can perform at the level expected of him, the Colts won't be the 0-11 mess they are now.
The schedule also means the Dolphins should be able to do something they haven't been able to do very often lately - win at home.
Additionally, the Dolphins get another shot at breaking their winless streak against the Texans.
The dates and times for each game won't be established and released until the offseason.