The NFL schedule for 2017 will be released later tonight, but as always happens, leaks are starting to give us a better picture at how the 17-week slate of games will unfold for the Miami Dolphins. NFL Network and ESPN will both hold a draft release special at 8pm ET tonight, and we will bring you the full schedule as soon as it is released.
The Dolphins made a few requests this year to the NFL offices, which were first reported by the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser. Those requests include asking for a Week 1 home game, something they have not had since 2014, which is also the only home game in Week 1 they have had since 2012.
The Dolphins also asked the league to not schedule their bye week in Week 5, following the team’s trip to London to face the New Orleans Saints in Week 4. Rather, they would like to have the bye week late in the season and a home game in Week 5.
Finally, they asked the league to not schedule their trip to play the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, avoiding making a long road trip to the west coast followed by the London trip the next weekend.
Some of the leaks that are coming out indicate the league has accommodated those requests from Miami. According to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, the Dolphins will open the season with a Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. He also adds that the team’s bye week will not occur until Week 11 of the season.
Rumors about the New York Jets and New England Patriots schedules have indicated that those two will face off in the Week 17 finale to the season, which means Miami, in the league’s tradition of having a divisional matchup for the finale, will play the Buffalo Bills. Salguero reports that the Dolphins will host that game, and that it will be the second time in three weeks those two teams face off, as Miami will visit the Bills in Week 15.
Finally, Salguero writes that the Dolphins will have four prime time games this year, two Monday Night Football games, a Sunday Night Football game, and a Thursday Night Football contest. The MNF games will be against the Carolina Panthers and the Patriots, while the Sunday night game will be against the Oakland Raiders. Finally, the game against the Baltimore Ravens will be the Thursday night game - which will also be a color rush game with Miami in their solid orange uniforms.
The Dolphins will also be on national television with a 9:30am ET kickoff against the Saints in the London game.
We will update with any more leaks or rumors as they are available. We will know for sure that all of these rumors and reports are accurate later tonight.
UPDATE 1: The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad also reports that Miami will have the two Monday Night Football games, with the Carolina Panthers game in Week 10 and the New England Patriots game in Week 14. He adds the Patriots game will be in Miami.
UPDATE 2: Salguero has added that the TNF at the Ravens will be in Week 8 and the SNF versus the Raiders will be in Week 9. That makes Miami appearing on prime time games in Weeks 8, 9, and 10 before their Week 11 bye.