A general rule of thumb is to not get caught looking ahead on the NFL schedule — which is exactly what we’re going to do here.
The banged up Miami Dolphins enter a much needed bye to rest and refuel, meaning this is the perfect time to eye some late-season projections.
A 24-0 shutout over the New York Jets has Miami (3-3) on a two-game winning streak. The Dolphins will return to action with favorable schedule remaining, which starts at home against the Rams on Nov. 1. The Dolphins have the 10th-easiest remaining strength of schedule, according to Tankathon.com. The site lists the Jets, Chargers, Bengals, Broncos and Patriots as favorable matchups.
Miami is currently the ninth seed in the AFC playoff picture and has the third-best point differential in the conference.
The Dolphins could certainly remain in the hunt and push for a playoff spot, especially if they carry the current momentum through the bye week. Expectations weren’t high for Miami entering the season, but they’ve received major contributions from newcomers across the board.
Big Bob Hunt, Solomon Kindley and Austin Jackson helped the offensive line reach new levels. Byron Jones, Brandon Jones and Emmanuel Ogbah have helped the Dolphins maintain the NFL’s best third-down defense.
The Dolphins are #1 in the NFL in third-down defense. And #2 in the NFL in points per game allowed. HC Brian Flores, DC Josh Boyer getting it done.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) October 19, 2020
Meaningful games in late November seems like the best case scenario for the NFL’s second youngest roster, but a playoff push would hurt Miami’s 2021 draft pick. Keep in mind, the Dolphins have the first and second round picks of the Houston Texans.
Houston sits at 1-5 and has the sixth-hardest remaining strength of schedule, according to Tankathon.com. A tough end to the season for the Texans would be the best of both worlds for the Dolphins — competing for the playoffs this year and entering the 2021 draft with a war chest of premium picks.