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NFL 2020 Week 3 Dolphins fan rooting guide

No excuses, no defense: Dolphins look like worst D in football in loss to Bills Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have already claimed a victory in Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season thanks to a 31-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. That makes today’s slate of games, as well as tomorrow’s Monday Night Football contest, a chance for Dolphins fans to sit back and enjoy football.

Since we are not tied into a Dolphins game today, it seemed like a good time to bring back our first “Dolphins fan rooting guide” for the year. It is way too early in the year to try to figure out all of the playoff implications from every game, but there are obvious results that can help the Dolphins. The general rule is, root for an NFC team to beat an AFC team, root for losses in the AFC East, and, this year, root against Houston so Miami receives a better first-round pick from them in 2021.

Here is the Week 3 rooting guide for Miami:

AFC East teams:

1pm ET
Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) at New England Patriots (1-1)

4:05pm ET
New York Jets (0-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

Root for the Rams, Raiders, and Colts. The Dolphins are 1-2 on the year now, so a loss by the Bills pull them back to within a game of Miami, a Patriots loss would move them into a tie with the Dolphins, and the Jets are down in the basement and need to be kept there.

Draft pick considerations:

1pm ET
Houston Texans (0-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)

Root for the Steelers. The Dolphins receive the Texans’ first-round pick next year. The worse the record for Houston, the better the pick the Dolphins will receiver. Piling on the losses is a great thing from Miami’s point of view.

(This game really is the only reason I wanted to do the rooting guide this week. Keeping track of the Texans losses will be a season-long thing to watch.)

Wildcard consideration:

1pm ET
Washington Football Team (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Tennessee Titans (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

4:05pm ET
Carolina Panthers (0-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) at Denver Broncos (0-2)

Root for: Washington, Vikings, Eagles, Panthers, and Buccaneers. All of these are the NFC versus AFC games for the weekend, with the NFC winning as the desired outcome. Eventually some of these teams will likely battle for their division title (Tennessee the most likely from the group), so AFC wins are not horrible for the Dolphins this early in the season, but the tighter the AFC, the better positioned the Dolphins could be for a late-season surprise playoff run.

AFC vs. AFC tossup

Monday Night Football (8:15pm ET, 9/28)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

No rooting choice. This game really does not matter at this point - other than it could be the “Game of the Year” by the time it is over. The Chiefs and Ravens will both be fighting for their respective division titles or the top Wildcard spot later this year. A win by one means a loss for the other. I almost made the rooting guide say to root for the Chiefs, just because of how many times the Dolphins have been demolished by the Ravens, but this game really does not have too much of an impact in Week 3.


1pm ET
Chicago Bears (2-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at New York Giants (0-2)

4:25pm ET
Detroit Lions (0-2) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (2-0)

8:20pm ET
Green Bay Packers (2-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-1)

Root for the 49ers, Cardinals, and Seahawks; toss up the rest. The Dolphins face the NFC West this year, so for strength of victory/schedule tiebreaks, the NFC West tallying wins could be helpful down the road. Really, these games do not matter much in terms of help for the Dolphins, so rooting for just good football games (especially that Packers-Saints game tonight) is the best bet.