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NFL Week 4 schedule: Miami Dolphins fan rooting guide

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It is way too early in the season to actually be considering the playoff picture and how we as Miami Dolphins fans need to be rooting for the weekend. However, the Dolphins have already played for this week, having been in the Thursday Night Football game. That gives a chance to break out a Week 4 edition of the Dolphins fan rooting guide even if it is way too early to really know how the playoff picture will fall into focus later this season.

The basic rules for our rooting guide are to root for AFC East teams to lose and to root for an NFC team to beat an AFC team. An NFC-NFC matchup does not usually do anything for the Dolphins unless some deep tie break scenarios such as the strength of victory or strength of schedule start to come into play.

With the rules set, it is time to look through the Week 4 schedule and determine how the games need to fall for the Dolphins.

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (1-2) - London
9:30 a.m. ET

An NFC versus NFC matchup. It is a Sunday morning game, which is always fun. Miami has the Vikings on the schedule this year, so a Minnesota win could assist in those tiebreaks. Root for: Minnesota

Cleveland Browns (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
1 p.m. ET

The Browns are leading the AFC North right now and the Dolphins face the Browns later this year, so a win from them would keep them out of the (way too early) Wildcard picture and add to Miami’s strength of schedule. However, the rule of wanting to see an NFC team beat an AFC team surpasses those reasons, as does the next game. Root for: Atlanta.

Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
1 p.m. ET

The Dolphins hold the head-to-head tie break on the Bills right now after beating them in Week 3, but why rely on that to hold on to the AFC East lead? Miami also holds the head-to-head tie break on the Ravens, having beaten them in Week 2. Buffalo can still tie up the season series with the second half of the annual home-and-home series with the Dolphins, but the Ravens will always lose the head-to-head tiebreak with Miami. Baltimore winning this keeps the Bills behind the Dolphins without needing to use the tiebreak. Root for: Baltimore.

Washington Commanders (1-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
1 p.m. ET

This game really has no bearing on the Dolphins. Root for whichever team you would like. Root for: Toss up.

Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Detroit Lions (1-2)
1 p.m. ET

Another NFC-NFC matchup. The Dolphins do play the Lions this year, so that will give them a slight nod here. Root for: Detroit.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Houston Texans (0-2-1)
1 p.m. ET

An AFC versus AFC matchup, with both teams on Miami’s schedule this season. This could be a toss-up game, but the Chargers are probably going to climb into playoff contention over the next several weeks, so adding another loss to their season tally would be a good thing. Root for: Houston.

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1)
1 p.m. ET

Who knows what to do with this matchup? The Titans were the AFC’s number one seed in last year’s playoffs, they are struggling to look anything like that team right now. The Colts are a giant question mark as well. I never want to see Ryan Tannehill struggle, so I will lean toward rooting for him, but this really is a toss-up. Root for: Toss-up.

Chicago Bears (2-1) at New York Giants (2-1)
1 p.m. ET

Another NFC matchup in which Miami faces one of the teams. That gives the advantage to the Bears. Root for: Chicago.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)
1 p.m. ET

Time to break the NFC rule. Even though the Jaguars are actually the number two seed in the playoff picture (for what that is worth right now), just behind the Dolphins, the Eagles are the lone remaining undefeated team in the league following the Dolphins’ loss on Thursday. Time to see them fall too. Root for: Jacksonville.

New York Jets (1-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
1 p.m. ET

Simple and straight-forward. Seeing the Jets lose is always fun. Root for: Pittsburgh

Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Carolina Panthers (1-2)
4:05 p.m. ET

This is an NFC-NFC contest with no real bearing on Miami. Root for: Toss-up.

New England Patriots (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)
4:25 p.m. ET

The Patriots losing is almost as much fun as seeing the Jets lose. Root for: Green Bay.

Denver Broncos (2-1) at Las Vegas Raiders (0-3)
4:25 p.m. ET

The Broncos are currently in the first Wildcard position, so a loss there would help should Miami fall behind the Bills eventually. Root for: Las Vegas

Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
8:20 p.m. ET

An NFC Team hosting an AFC team who is currently in the third position in the playoffs. As much as you may not want to root for Tom Brady, it makes sense here. Root for: Tampa Bay.

Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
8:15 p.m. ET - Monday

This looks like an NFC-NFC matchup that should have no impact on the Dolphins. They do play San Francisco, so it almost gets the slim advantage in case Miami needs the strength tiebreaks, but there is another factor when it comes to the 49ers. The Dolphins hold the 49ers’ first-round draft pick, so the more San Francisco loses this year, the better a pick Miami will have. Root for: Los Angeles.