In the NFL, every game is important, and there are no easy games. The saying “Any Given Sunday” is so true on so many different levels. With that said, some games do pique your interest more than others. For the 2022 Miami Dolphins, here are five games below that I believe are the most intriguing this upcoming season.
Sunday, December 11, 4:05 pm Eastern Time: Miami at Los Angles Chargers
I know Tua and Justin Herbert went head to head in their rookie season, but we didn’t know what Justin Herbert was at that point in his career. Now, entering 2022, he is a Top 10 QB in the NFL, and some would argue Top 5 which makes this match-up and the storylines behind it far more interesting. We all know the back story of how Miami passed on Herbert and selected Tua. When they met in 2020, there was a little hype and excitement around the match-up as the Chargers were bad, and Miami was shuffling between Fitzpatrick and Tua week to week seemingly. This year the build-up to this contest will be off the charts. In 2022, Tua is fighting to be the Dolphins’ franchise quarterback beyond this season, and Herbert is playing to break the bank and get a long-term extension where he will maybe become the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history. The storylines write themselves. Did Miami make an all-time blunder passing on Herbert? Will Tua prove Miami and Chris Grier right by beating Herbert in Herbert’s building?
Sunday, September 25, 1:00 pm Eastern Time: Buffalo at Miami
I am selecting the Dolphins-Bills match-up at Hard Rock Stadium because I think it is the likeliest of the two contests this year in which Miami can win. The Dolphins have to beat the Bills…..at least once in 2022! They cannot continue to be a doormat to the Bills Mafia and let Josh Allen and company just stomp all over them every time they walk on the field. Asking for Miami to sweep the Bills may be asking too much, but asking them to split and win once against them is fair. And to win at home seems more likely. The Jets are lousy, and the Patriots’ offense looks pathetic; if Miami can’t push the Bills and at least beat them once, the Bills will have the AFC East clinched by Thanksgiving. Dolphins-Bills is the rivalry of the 90s in the AFC, and now fast forward to 2022, it is the rivalry of the AFC East. This game is intriguing because if Miami can’t beat the Bills at home, in the September heat for a 1 pm kickoff, I have little hope of Miami beating the Bills come October in Orchard Park.
Sunday, October 23rd, 8:20 pm Eastern Time: Pittsburgh at Miami
Brian Flores returns to Hard Rock Stadium. I am not sure much needs to be said about this. Stephen Ross fired Brian Flores after back-to-back winning seasons. Brian Flores is suing the Miami Dolphins organization and Stephen Ross and is accusing Mr. Ross of offering him money to lose on purpose. Brian Flores, the Steelers linebackers coach, has his linebackers face Tua. A quarterback Flores seemingly wasn’t a big fan of and didn’t support the past two seasons. Get your popcorn ready for this one!
Thursday, September 29, 8:15 pm Eastern Time: Miami at Cincinnati
The Dolphins travel on a short week to play the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals in their building. Miami faces the quarterback (Joe Burrow) it tried to trade up for in the 2020 draft but was unable to. This will be a test for the Dolphins early on to see if they are contenders in 2022 or pretenders as playing the conference champions in their house will be telling. Tua vs. Joe Burrow happened in college when they were at Alabama and LSU but has yet to happen on an NFL field. This year we get this match-up again, and it should be exciting.
Sunday, December 4, 4:05 pm Eastern Time: Miami at San Francisco
This contest features a lot of little storylines that are going to be interesting to watch play out. Mike McDaniel was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers last season, and now he is the Dolphins’ head coach. McDaniel, who has a lot of close ties with many of the 49ers players, goes home to face his old team. Another storyline in this game is Trey Lance, the San Francisco quarterback. The Dolphins held the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 draft and traded it away to San Francisco so the 49ers could select Lance. Plus, the Dolphins own the 2023 1st round pick of San Francisco, so the Dolphins can help their own cause here by beating San Fran and improving that pick they are receiving from them. All of these things thrown together make for an interesting game, to say the least.