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Dolphins 2023 schedule: Which quarter of the schedule will be Miami’s toughest?

We break the 2023 NFL schedule into quarters for the Miami Dolphins, trying to figure out which will be the team’s toughest.

Philadelphia Eagles v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The NFL released the 2023 schedule on Thursday, breaking down the 18-week, 17-game season for all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins hold the second toughest schedule in the league, using last year’s season-ending records, trailing just the Philadelphia Eagles. Miami’s schedule is made up of teams that finished a combined 158-127-2 last year, giving them a .554 winning percentage.

Now that the order of Miami’s schedule is known, we can take a little closer look at how that winning percentage is spread over the course of the 18 weeks of the season. Of course, with the 17-game schedule, there is no easy way to break down the quarters for the year, so we will make the second quarter of the season a five-game span, leading into the Dolphins’ bye week in Week 10.

Which quarter is Miami’s toughest?

First Quarter (Weeks 1-4)

Week 1
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)

Week 2
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (8-9) - Sunday Night Football

Week 3
Denver Broncos (5-12) at Miami Dolphins

Week 4
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (13-3)

Combined Winning Percentage
36-31, .537

Subjectivity: Rough start to the year to have three road games out of the first four. Add in the loss of Miami’s heat advantage for games played in South Florida in the early part of the season, and this is a little rough.

Second Quarter (Weeks 5-9)

Week 5
New York Giants (9-7-1) at Miami Dolphins

Week 6
Carolina Panthers (7-10) at Miami Dolphins

Week 7
Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) - Sunday Night Football

Week 8
New England Patriots (8-9) at Miami Dolphins

Week 9
Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) - in Germany

Combined Winning Percentage
52-32-1, .621

Subjectivity: Miami avoids having to play in Arrowhead Stadium as the Germany game causes Kansas City to lose a home game. This stretch is rough, though, given the two Super Bowl teams from last year, both of whom won 14 games. Both of those games will also be nationally televised contests, so the Dolphins need to show up if they want to gain respect. It is strange that the Dolphins will have completed the two-game season series with the Patriots by Week 8 this year.

Bye Week: Week 10

Third Quarter (Weeks 11-14)

Week 11
Las Vegas Raiders (6-11) at Miami Dolphins

Week 12
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (7-10) - Black Friday

Week 13
Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders (8-8-1)

Week 14
Tennessee Titans (7-10) at Miami Dolphins - Monday Night Football

Combined Winning Percentage
28-39-1, .419

Subjectivity: Winning percentage wise, this offsets the second quarter’s ridiculous 62 percent mark. There have been a lot of changes among these teams for 2023, headlined by Aaron Rodgers joining the Jets, so going by 2022’s standards may not be exactly accurate to what these teams will be by Weeks 11-14, but it is the measure we have right now. The Jets game in Week 12 will be a standalone game, while the Titans Monday Night Football game will actually be one of two games airing at the same time on MNF that week. The Titans game is a tough one to predict because there is no telling who will be the team’s quarterback by then.

Fourth Quarter (Weeks 15-18)

Week 15
New York Jets (7-10) vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 16
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at Miami Dolphins

Week 17
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (10-7)

Week 18
Buffalo Bills (13-3) at Miami Dolphins

Combined Winning Percentage
42-25, .627

Subjectivity: That .621 second-quarter of the season does not seem as bad when Miami is finishing the year in a .627 winning percentage quarter, including the final three games against teams that won at least 10 games last year. The fact that there are only three weeks between the two Jets games does not make the second one any easier, either. Miami has won the last two games against the Ravens, but the nine losses in 11 games before those two still make this a scary matchup for Miami nearly every year. This is a tough final strength to the year, though Miami does have the advantage of being home for three of the four games.


First Quarter: .537
Second Quarter: .621
Third Quarter: .419
Fourth Quarter: .627

On paper, the third quarter is clearly the “easiest” of the group and is evenly split between home and road games, with two nationally televised games in the group. The first quarter’s winning percentage and three of four on the road make it comparable to the other two quarters, but it does fall off when you look at the teams Miami is going to be facing in the other two stretches. The second quarter having both Super Bowl teams from last year in games that will be nationally televised is, again, not giving Miami any breaks. The final quarter, with a slightly higher winning percentage could get the nod as the toughest based on that alone, but it is the lineup that pushes it over the top. If Miami’s schedule included the Jets in Weeks 16, 17, or 18, maybe the second quarter overcomes the final stretch, but three games, in the final push for the playoffs, against 10-win teams from last year is brutal.

Do you agree the final stretch of games for Miami is the toughest quarter of the season Miami will face?


Which quarter of the season will be the toughest for the Miami Dolphins in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    First Quarter (Weeks 1-4)
    (34 votes)
  • 33%
    Second Quarter (Weeks 5-9)
    (98 votes)
  • 6%
    Third Quarter (Weeks 11-14)
    (19 votes)
  • 48%
    Fourth Quarter (Weeks 15-18)
    (142 votes)
293 votes total Vote Now