Now that the Miami Dolphins 2016 schedule was released, it is time to make my "way too optimistic" predictions for the upcoming season. Yes, I understand it is April and no one has any idea what may happen between now and September. Hell, even the draft is still ten days away. Here are my extremely early, way too optimistic 2016 Miami Dolphins win/loss predictions.
Week 1 @ Seattle Seahawks ---- Loss (0-1)
Playing in Seattle is a hard test for any team, let alone Week 1 to kick off the 2016 season. Adam Gase is considered an offensive genius by many, but will have his hands full trying to out scheme Pete Carroll. Miami will play a lot harder than expected. Either way, I see a loss being the likely outcome.
Week 2 @ New England Patriots ---- Loss (0-2)
Much like the first week at Seattle, this will be the Patriots home opener. Miami managed to beat New England several times during the Joe Philbin Era so it is not impossible to see Gase and the Dolphins leaving Foxboro with an upset victory. Sadly, it seems more likely the Dolphins lose to the Patriots, starting the season 0-2.
Week 3 vs Cleveland Browns ---- Win (1-2)
After playing on the road for the first two weeks of the season, the Dolphins finally play at home against the Cleveland Browns. There will only be a handful of teams that finish the season in worse position than Miami and I believe Cleveland is one of them. Adam Gase gets his first win as a head coach, at home vs the Cleveland Browns. Dump the Gatorade!
Week 4 @ Cincinnati Bengals ---- Win (2-2)
Adam Gase and the Dolphins head to Cincinnati to make a statement. The last time the two teams played, Cameron Wake had a walk-off safety on Halloween day. Cincinnati has improved since then, but the Dolphins find a way to pull off the upset. The win streak continues for Miami.
Week 5 vs Tennessee Titans ---- Win (3-2)
No matter how disappointing last season was, Miami convincingly beat the Tennessee Titans, 38-10. After trading away the #1 overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams, the Tennessee Titans now have an insane amount of draft picks. Rishard Matthews should have a big game against his former team, but Miami manages to squeak out the win.
Week 6 vs Pittsburgh Steelers ---- Loss (3-3)
The Steelers made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth last season. After riding a small win streak over the course of the last three weeks, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers bring the Dolphins crashing back down to reality. Le'Veon Bell has another monster game.
Week 7 vs Buffalo Bills ---- Win (4-3)
Rex Ryan brings his attacking defense into Miami to take on Adam Gase and the Dolphins’ high octane offense. After a loss to the Steelers the week prior, the Dolphins lay a beating on Rex Ryan and their division foes.
Week 8 ---- BYE----
Every year Dolphin fans look forward to the bye week. This day allows fans to sit back and enjoy the game of football, worrying more about their fantasy football team than their beloved Dolphins. Enjoy it, because next week the pain and misery will likely continue.
Week 9 vs New York Jets ---- Win (5-3)
In previous years, the Dolphins would come out of the bye looking lifeless. With Joe Philbin gone, I believe Miami will be far more prepared than years prior. The Jets currently have Bryce Petty and Geno Smith at quarterback, a situation that better change if they want to have any chance of competing in the AFC East. In the end, Miami’s stingy defense dismantles the Jets, leading the Dolphins to a convincing home victory over their division rivals.
Week 10 @ San Diego Chargers ---- Loss (5-4)
San Diego was not very good last season, but they still managed to convincingly beat the Dolphins 30-14. With a top five draft pick, the Chargers will only continue to get better via the draft. Miami might be a more improved team than last season, but not enough to defeat the Chargers on a cross-country trip to the west coast.
Week 11 @ Los Angeles Rams ---- Win (6-4)
Jeff Fisher and his sexy mustache had the cojones to trade up to acquire a franchise quarterback, a bold move for any franchise. In Week 11, the Miami Dolphins defense welcomes Jared Goff/Carson Wentz to the NFL, sacking the rookie quarterback six times in a nail-biting victory. Miami leaves the west coast 1-1 but most importantly, 6-4 as they head back to South Florida.
Week 12 vs San Francisco 49ers ---- Win (7-4)
Dan Campbell and the Dolphins defeated Chip Kelly and the Eagles last season. Now that Chip is in San Francisco, the Dolphins should have no problem beating him and his inferior team. Kelly’s offense struggled against the Dolphins and will likely do the same in 2016. Unless the 49ers greatly improve in the draft, Miami should have no problem defeating the San Francisco Fourty-Whiners.
Week 13 @ Baltimore Ravens ---- Win (8-4)
The Baltimore Ravens have been a thorn in my side ever since they defeated the Dolphins handedly in the 2008 Wild Card game. In 2014, the Dolphins needed to finish the season strong to have any chance at the playoffs, could they beat the Ravens? Hell no! It took a Joe Flacco season ending knee injury for the Dolphins to stand a chance, winning 15-13. This is the year the Dolphins hand the Ravens a convincing loss.
Week 14 vs Arizona Cardinals ---- Loss (8-5)
All the optimism in the world cannot save the Miami Dolphins when they take on the Arizona Cardinals.
Week 15 @ New York Jets ---- Loss (8-6)
Earlier in the year, Miami beat the Jets in a convincing victory in South Florida. With a late December meeting with the Jets in East Rutherford, Miami struggles to keep their playoff hopes alive. Whether it be Geno, Petty, or a rookie sensation, the Dolphins fail to beat the Jets for a second time this season.
Week 16 @ Buffalo Bills ---- Win (9-6)
Miami continues to move north, with temperatures dropping about as quickly as the Dolphins’ playoff hopes. With wildcard chances still alive, the Dolphins come out ready to play. Ryan Tannehill plays his best game as a professional, finishing the game with a perfect passer rating. Andrew Franks hits a game winning field goal to keep the team’s playoff hopes alive.
Week 17 vs New England Patriots ---- Win (10-6)
Miami welcomes the Patriots to "No-Name Stadium" for one last "ooh raw" with the defending AFC East champs. Miami and New England play one of the best games of the 2016 season. As time begins to expire, Tannehill drops back and heaves up a prayer to the end zone. DeVante Parker skies into the air making the improbable catch, the Dolphins score as time expires and defeat the New England Patriots. The Dolphins finish the season 10-6.
Unfortunately, Miami misses the playoffs as a result of a tie-breaker. A successful first season nonetheless for Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins.
Please note this is an optimistic view of the Dolphins' 2016 Schedule.