The Miami Dolphins have one game remaining in their 2019 season. This was a year of reset for the South Florida team, with the Dolphins trading and cutting veteran players to become the youngest team in the league while securing salary cap space and draft picks for the 2020 season. It has led to a rough year for Miami, with the franchise at 4-11 with just a contest against the AFC East division champion (again) New England Patriots remaining.
While the focus is on this Sunday for the players and the coaches, the front office is focused on 2020. And, they can get a little more focused on next season, as the Dolphins’ 2020 opponents are now set.
Each team’s schedule is built starting with their division rivals, hosting one game against each of the other three teams and visiting each of them. Then each division is matched against a division within the conference and a division from the other conference. Those matchups rotate, so it is fairly simple to predict the next matchups. That gives any specific team in the NFL six games in their division, four games against the intra-conference matchup, and four games against the inter-conference matchup, filling 14 of the 16 game schedule. The final two games are scheduled against the two teams who finish in the same relative position in their respective divisions inside the team’s conference.
For the Dolphins, they will face the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets twice each as part of the AFC East. The AFC East is scheduled to play the AFC West and NFC West next year, leaving the teams that finish in the same respective position as Miami in the AFC North and AFC South. The Dolphins will finish the season in fourth place in the AFC East, while the Cincinnati Bengals will be last in the AFC North and the Jacksonville Jaguars will finish last in the AFC South.
That means, Miami’s 2020 opponents are set:
*The Dolphins are expected to lose a home game in 2020 to play internationally. There have been no reports on which team they will face or where the game will be played.
Miami’s 2020 schedule will feature seven games against 2019 playoff teams (Patriots x 2, Bills x 2, Chiefs, Seahawks, 49ers), with the Raiders a possible eighth game (if a lot of things go right for them this weekend). They will also play seven games against teams with losing 2019 records (Jets x 2, Chargers, Broncos, Bengals, Cardinals, Jaguars).