The 2019 NFL season is still months away, but with the offseason sufficiently leaving us in the midst of a football wasteland here in late June, I thought I’d rev up the excitement by taking a look ahead to a few highly anticipated games for the upcoming Miami Dolphins season. This season has a taste of everything: coaches returning to old stomping grounds, a (singular) primetime game, and some old familiar faces that will reunite with former teammates. Let’s break ‘em down.
Week 1: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins - September 8 @ 1:00pm ET
It’d be hard to write a list of the most highly anticipated matchups without including the first one of the season. Dolphins fans around the country will be waiting for this game simply because it’s the first time we’re getting to see head coach Brian Flores’ new (and hopefully improved) Miami Dolphins. The idea that the team is tanking will still be permeating the atmosphere right up until this point, at which time everyone will remember that these players and coaches and playing and coaching for their jobs. The front office might strip some of the stars away in order to better rebuild (and they shouldn’t be faulted for that), but now we see that players come to play.
Historically, the Ravens have had the Dolphins’ number. The Dolphins played the Ravens for five consecutive years between 2013 and 2017, with Miami only winning one of those games. The two most recent times, the Ravens defeated the ‘Fins by a collective score of 78-6 (ouch). With Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ revamped, innovative offense coming to town, Flores will have his hands full. This game will provide an interesting barometer with which to set expectations for the first half of the season.
Week 2: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins - September 15 @ 1:00 PM ET
There are two storylines setting background for this game that will make it one of the most exciting matchups of the season. The first being that when the Patriots last visited Miami, Dolphins fans were treated to one of the most memorable moments in recent Miami Dolphins history.
With the game clock ticking down and the Dolphins still trailing, Ryan Tannehill hurled a hope and a prayer into the waiting arms of Kenny Stills, who pitched the ball to DeVante Parker, who subsequently flipped it to Kenyan Drake, who gashed a hole through the Patriots defense and galloped into the endzone, leaving a flailing Rob Gronkowski in his wake. You can be sure that the Patriots are watering at the mouth for another opportunity to take down the Dolphins in South Florida, especially given New England’s reputation for struggling down south.
The second, and equally obvious storyline is Brian Flores and his reuniting on the field with his former team. When Flores was last on a football field on a Sunday, he was wearing red, white, and blue and taking orders from none other than Bill Belichick. How Flores attempts to defeat his former employer will be something that permeates the NFL media during the week leading up to this game.
Week 9: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins - November 3 @ 1:00 PM ET
It’s revenge game time. Adam Gase was unceremoniously fired from his post as head coach of the Miami Dolphins following a trio of underwhelming seasons, the latter two of which had the team end under .500. Before, during, and after his departure, rumors swirled of disagreements, some of which may or may not have been heated, between Gase and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. You can be sure that Gase is patiently awaiting the opportunity to stick it to his former team, and this matchup will be his first opportunity to do so.
You may remember that just two years ago, Gase took the chance to lay a beatdown on another former team of his, the Denver Broncos. Back in December of 2017, Gase and the Dolphins obliterated the Broncos by a score of 35-9, a game during which Gase elected to kick Denver while they were down by going for, and succeeding at, an onside kick while the game was already pretty well in hand. We’ll see if he manages to have similar success this time around. Oh, and this is a divisional matchup as well, which always adds to the excitement.
Week 12: Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns - November 24 @ 1:00 PM ET
For my fourth and final most anticipated game of the season, I’ve elected to forego Miami’s singular primetime game of the season (Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers) for a matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Not only will this be the first time that Jarvis Landry will have the opportunity to go up against his former team, but it will allow Josh Rosen to complete his trifecta of playing each of the three quarterbacks selected ahead of him in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Assuming Rosen is starting by Week 9 against the Jets (and I believe he will be), he’ll have had the opportunity to play against Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. Against the Browns, he’ll have the chance to play against Baker Mayfield as well. Combine that with the fact that the Browns should be one of the most exciting teams this season and we have ourselves a fun game to watch.
Which Dolphins game are you most excited to watch next season?
This poll is closed
Week 1: vs Baltimore Ravens
Week 2: vs New England Patriots
Week 9: vs New York Jets
Week 12: at Cleveland Browns
Other (leave a comment below!)
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