With the 2023 NFL schedule release less than a month away, I think it’s a good time to check out some of the teams your Miami Dolphins will be facing. First, let’s take a look at our home and away opponents;
Home: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Titans, Panthers
Away: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Ravens
As you may have noticed, we were gifted with nine home games this season which should be a huge advantage given that season tickets have long been sold out for 2023. Now that we know who the Dolphins will be facing let’s break down some of the more interesting matchups, as well as potential prime-time games and, of course, my record prediction.
Most Interesting Matchups
To avoid the obvious, I will be excluding our division matchups, as we can all agree that any of those will be good games and fun to watch. With that being said, let’s dive right in;
I find this matchup interesting for one main reason; Sean Payton vs. Vic Fangio. As you might have heard, when Sean Payton announced he was ready to return to coaching, Vic Fangio was immediately linked as the defensive coordinator most likely to join his staff. The Miami Dolphins ultimately won the Fangio sweepstakes, and Sean Payton ended up hiring Vance Joseph as his defensive coordinator, a respected coach, and a former member of the Dolphins staff in 2017. The Broncos have gone all in on their offensive line so far this offseason to protect Russel Wilson better and hopefully have him perform better than he did in 2022. Either way, it should be fun to see if Sean Payton holds anything against Fangio for choosing Mike McDaniel over him.
Kansas City Chiefs
Tyreek Hill already began to hype up this matchup with his comments, stating, “I hate to throw the peace sign against y’all. I hate to do it, but guess what? I’m gonna be y’all worst enemy that day” when he appeared on Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City. Let’s face it; when the opponents for 2023 were released, I’m pretty sure Dolphins and Chiefs fans alike circled that matchup as Tyreek’s return to Kansas City is sure to be a show. This game also features 2022 MVP Patrick Mahomes vs. Tua Tagovailoa for the 2nd time in their careers. If you remember, the last time these two teams played in 2020, Mahomes was intercepted three times, but the Chiefs still ended up winning 33-27. Mahomes finished 24/34 for 393 yards, two touchdowns, and three picks, while Tua finished 28/48 for 316 yards, two touchdowns, and only one pick. Hill finished with three catches for 79 yards and a touchdown but also had a 32-yard carry for a touchdown. The game was exciting, but Tua didn’t have the weapons or the offense he has now, so it’s shaping up to be an epic showdown when these two teams meet.
The Eagles will be looking to bounce back after their Super Bowl loss, and even with the loss of both their offensive and defensive coordinators and some high-profile free agents, they still stand to be one of the top teams in the league next season. These two teams have a lot in common, an Alabama quarterback (Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa) paired with an Alabama receiver they played with in college (Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle) as well as a top-tier wide receiver (Aj Brown, Tyreek Hill). Suppose you aren’t familiar with their time in Alabama. In that case, Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa is forever linked. Jalen Hurts was famously benched in favor of Tua in the third quarter of the National Championship on January 11th, 2018. Tua ended up winning the game for Alabama on a 41-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Smith in overtime. Tua and Hurts have only played against each other in a preseason matchup, so this will mark the first time they meet in the NFL for a game that matters. In a matchup of two quarterbacks forever linked, get your popcorn ready because I’m sure these two will want to do whatever they can to beat their former teammate.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) April 14, 2023
Prime Time Possibilities
Kansas City Chiefs
I believe this game will be a win-win for the NFL and prime-time games. Not only will the defending Super Bowl champion be featured, but a National “revenge game” for Tyreek Hill as he returns to face his former team. If you have any other questions on why this would be an epic prime-time showdown, refer to the paragraph above.
Starting to see a correlation between the interesting matchups and my prime-time picks? Two explosive offenses featuring two young QBs going head to head in a bout that has been brewing since they were teammates at Alabama. Buckle your seatbelts; it’s going to be a fun ride.
Anytime the Cowboys play, you can expect them to be in the national spotlight; that’s just the way it is for America’s team. If this game were in Dallas, I would say it’s an automatic lock for a Thanksgiving Day game, but since it’s in Miami, I can easily see this being a Sunday Night game. The Sunday Night lights on a cool Miami night, with a Cowboys team that is struggling to keep their title as America’s Team alive versus a Miami team that is now hungry for more than just a playoff appearance. Two respected defensive coordinators locked in a battle with a talented roster. I could even see the Dolphins break out their Throwback jerseys and put on an epic show as they usually do for night games.
2023 will be an interesting time for the Miami Dolphins as they look to build on a season that started with such fire only to fizzle out in the end due to injuries. Without going into detail, I predict the Dolphins to finish with a 13-4 record and the AFC East division title. I will revisit our opponents once the NFL releases the schedule sometime in May. Until then, Fins Up!