The Miami Dolphins finished their 2017 season in third place in the AFC East, a disappointing end to a season that was supposed to back up their Wildcard run last year. After dealing with multiple unexpected situations, including the loss of quarterback Ryan Tannehill in training camp, an offensive line coach getting caught up in a substance abuse scandal, the loss of a bye week because of a hurricane, a starting linebacker going AWOL in Week 2, and 12 players landing on the injured reserve list, this season was simply a long year of trying to overcome the next situation that showed up.
While six AFC teams will continue playing into the postseason tournament, the Dolphins will begin working on their 2018 preparations. One thing that is known for 2018 is the set of opponents Miami will face next year. While the schedule, with specific dates for each game, will not be released until April, the teams that will be faced across all 32 NFL clubs follow a formulaic pattern.
Six of each team’s 16 games will be played against the other three teams from the respective division, with a home-and-home series for each club. Then, four games will be played, two at home and two on the road, against the four teams from one division intra-conference and one division inter-conference. The final two games on the 16 game schedule will come from the two teams from the two divisions in the conference that were not already scheduled and that finished in the same position in their divisions.
In other words, Miami will face the two third place teams from the non-scheduled conferences.
The AFC East is slated to face the AFC South and the NFC North next season, with Miami then playing the third-place teams in the AFC West (home) and AFC North (Away).
The Dolphins’ 2018 opponents will be: