Normally at this time of year we’re anticipating the release of the schedule for the forthcoming season.  In recent years, the schedule has been released about a week before the draft.  We may see a delay in the schedule announcement this year, but I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the Dolphins’ rivals in the AFC East as well as the other 2020 opponents to see how they’ve improved/weakened since last season.

Unluckily for the Fins, the 2020 schedule has us playing against (arguably) the two best divisions in Football.  The NFC West is unanimously the best current division whilst the AFC West houses the world champion Chiefs as well as 3 teams (Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers) that will be vying for a playoff berth.

Home opponents – Bills, Patriots, Jets, Bengals, Chiefs, Chargers, Rams, Seahawks (one of Miami’s home games will be played in London)

Away opponents – Bills, Patriots, Jets, Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Cardinals, 49ers

*Breaking News – the playoffs have just been expanded to 14 teams


Buffalo Bills

2019 Record = 10-6

2019 Playoffs = lost to Houston Texans in Wild Card Round

Key Player = Josh Allen

Breakout Candidate = Devin Singletary

Key Signings = Stefon Diggs (Trade), Mario Addison, Josh Norman

Players Lost = Shaq Lawson, Jordan Phillips

Overview – The Bills may be the early favourites to dethrone the Patriots and win the AFC East.  However, the Bills haven’t won the division since 1995.  The Bills have added talented veterans to their already strong defense and have avoided losing too many key pieces of the 2019 team.  Josh Allen should continue to improve especially with Stefon Diggs to throw to.

Decision – IMPROVED and will challenge for the division title


New England Patriots

2019 Record = 12-4

2019 Playoffs = lost to Tennessee Titans in Wild Card Round

Key Player = Stephon Gilmore

Breakout Candidate = N’Keal Harry

Key Signings = Brian Hoyer, Adrian Phillips, Beau Allen

Players Lost = Tom Brady, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins

Overview – Are we about to see the end of the dynasty.?  Belichick has been very quiet so far in addressing any of the Patriots many needs.  The roster looks deficient, but the defense should still be good.  Jarrett Stidham may be the man given the first shot at replacing Brady.  What the Pats do in the draft will be very interesting.

Decision – WEAKENED, but will still be in the playoff mix


New York Jets

2019 Record = 7-9

Key Player = Jamal Adams

Breakout Candidate = Quinnen Williams

Key Signings = Connor McGovern, Pierre Desir, Breshad Perriman

Players Lost = Robby Anderson, Brandon Shell, Jordan Jenkins

Overview – it’s hard to see what the plan is for the Jets in 2020.  There are too many question marks for this team to be competitive come September.  McGovern is a good signing for the offensive line but that unit is still lacking talent.  Sam Darnold will need to show distinct improvement for this team to be relevant.

Decision – WEAKENED and will struggle to get more than 5 wins

Cincinnati Bengals

2019 Record = 2-14

Key Signings = D.J. Reader, Trae Waynes, Vonn Bell

Decision – IMPROVED, but only because 2019 was so bad


Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 Record = 6-10

Key Signings = Joe Schobert, Tyler Eifert, Rashaan Melvin

Decision – WEAKENED and could be the worst team in football in 2020


Denver Broncos

2019 Record = 7-9

Key Signings = Jurrell Casey (Trade), A.J. Bouye (Trade), Melvin Gordon

Decision – IMPROVED and should make the playoffs as a wild card qualifier


Kansas City Chiefs

2019 Record = 12-4

Key Signings = Mike Remmers

Decision – NO CHANGE and should at least make the AFC Championship for a 3rd straight year

 Las Vegas Raiders

2019 Record = 7-9

Key Signings = Corey Littleton, Marcus Mariota, Eli Apple

Decision – NO CHANGE where a .500 record could see them at the bottom of their division


Los Angeles Chargers

2019 Record = 5-11

Key Signings = Trai Turner (Trade), Chris Harris, Linval Joseph, Brian Bulaga

Decision – IMPROVED, but not enough to make the playoffs


Arizona Cardinals

2019 Record = 5-10-1

Key Signings = De’Andre Hopkins (Trade), Devon Kennard, Jordan Phillips

Decision – IMPROVED, but not enough to make the playoffs in the tough NFC


Los Angeles Rams

2019 Record = 9-7

Key Signings = Leonard Floyd, A’Shawn Robinson

Decision – NO CHANGE and will be around .500 again


San Francisco 49ers

2019 Record = 13-3

Key Signings = None

Decision – WEAKENED, but still top their division and go deep in the playoffs


Seattle Seahawks

2019 Record = 11-5

Key Signings = Greg Olsen, Bruce Irvin, Phillip Dorsett

Decision – WEAKENED, but will be in a scrap to make the playoffs as always