The Miami Dolphins released their 2023 schedule on Thursday, with all of Dolphins’ Twitter anxiously awaiting any leaks and the official announcement of the finalized schedule. The Dolphins have hefty aspirations for this season, following a return to the playoffs, and the countdown is officially on for September 10. Let’s get into my predictions for the upcoming schedule.
Get your popcorn ready. 🍿
Introducing your 2023 Miami Dolphins schedule! pic.twitter.com/afSl4VYbpn
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 12, 2023
Week One – at Los Angeles Chargers
Miami opens the season in a matchup of playoff teams from 2022, in a game that will surely be billed as another showdown of two of the top quarterbacks from the 2020 draft. This is a great spot to take on the Chargers, breaking in the highly anticipated Vic Fangio defense while seeing growth from Head Coach Mike McDaniel and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in their second season working together.
Prediction – Miami 27, Los Angeles 20
Week Two – at New England Patriots
The NFL finally gives the Dolphins a different opening week opponent, besides the Patriots, for the first time since 2019. Still, Miami doesn’t have to wait long to take on their divisional rival. Miami has yet to lose against New England, with Tua starting for the Dolphins. I don’t foresee that happening in another early season tilt, especially since the Patriots’ offense won’t be able to keep up.
Prediction – Miami 24, New England 13
Week Three – versus Denver Broncos
Dolphins Country, Let’s Ride! Miami finally returns to Hard Rock Stadium and takes on the Broncos, who still may not have hit their stride with Russell Wilson and Head Coach Sean Payton. Vic Fangio against Sean Payton should be an excellent chess match, and Mike McDaniel can see how his offense philosophy competes against a Super Bowl-winning offensive head coach. Still, the Dolphins aren’t going to lose the home opener and start 3-0 once again under McDaniel.
Prediction – Miami 23, Denver 21
Week Four – at Buffalo Bills
The first quarter of the season features three road games, two against divisional opponents, which sets up well for the remainder of the year. Taking on Buffalo on the road early, avoiding the snow, and since they’re scared of the sun, will be a battle and a measuring stick game for the Dolphins. Come game day, my mind will change, but for now, this marks the first speed bump for the Dolphins as Miami falls in a shootout.
Prediction – Miami 34, Buffalo 35
Week Five – versus New York Giants
Matching up a pair of second-year offensive Head Coaches that led their teams to the playoffs in their first season should be an exciting game in Miami. The difference will be Fangio’s defense, especially the weapons he has within the defensive line, which will pressure Daniel Jones and not allow him to get comfortable with the lack of weapons and skill players they have outside of Saquon Barkley. The Dolphins get back on track and into the win column.
Prediction – Miami 31, New York 13
Week Six – versus Carolina Panthers
Trading up to get their quarterback but trading two of their top skill position players, Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore, doesn’t exactly bode confidence in what Bryce Young can do so early in his rookie season. Hot take for this contest – Jaylen Waddle puts together one of the best performances of the season, going for over 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Prediction – Miami 27, Carolina 19
Week Seven – at Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl preview? An opportunity to take on the defending NFC Champions is no small task for the Dolphins, especially on the road. Tua and Jalen Hurts take the field together for the first time since the College Football Playoff Championship against Georgia. The stars will be out on Sunday Night Football, in hopefully the best uniform matchup of the season, so as Terrell Owens once said, “get your popcorn ready.”
Prediction – Miami 27, Philadelphia 31
Week Eight – versus New England Patriots
The same rules apply as in week two. Home game. Division rival. The better team wins.
Prediction – Miami 20, New England 9
Week Nine – at Kansas City Chiefs (Frankfurt, Germany)
Willkommen in Deutschland, Delfine! When the opponents for the 2023 season were announced, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Miami Dolphins fans had this matchup circled. Morning football between two of the top teams in the National Football League? Sign me up for that – even though we just miss Oktoberfest. We’ll know what this team is made of by now and see how close to the Super Bowl we are after taking on both the Super Bowl and NFC Champions.
Prediction – Miami 27, Kansas City 30
Week 10 – BYE
Perfect timing for the bye week after the international game. Maybe there is some time for Oktoberfest after all.
Week 11 – versus Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are one of the teams in the middle of the pack for the NFL, bringing in Jimmy Garroppolo and largely running it back with their roster. Miami has two weeks to prepare following the Germany trip and is 1-0 off a bye week with Mike McDaniel calling the shots.
Prediction – Miami 38, Las Vegas 13
Week 12 – at New York Jets
For the first time ever, teams will play on Black Friday, and the Dolphins take on their AFC East Division rivals. Aaron Rodgers will have the Jets no doubt better than how they were when they had their quarterback carousel last year, but I’m not sold that Rodgers makes the Jets better than Miami. Dolfans take over MetLife again, and the Dolphins get a holiday deal, leaving New York with their seventh win.
Prediction – Miami 20, New York 17
Week 13 – at Washington Commanders
I’m not overlooking Washington; I highly doubt the Dolphins overlook Washington, but Miami is beating Washington.
Prediction – Miami 31, Washington 10
Week 14 – versus Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is a team in flux, and although our hope is to see Ryan Tannehill return to the field in Miami Gardens, the Titans may have already moved on to see what they have in rookie quarterback Will Levis.
Prediction – Miami 27, Tennessee 13
Week 15 – versus New York Jets
Hosting the Jets kicks off a tough four-game stretch of playoff contenders to close out the season for the Dolphins. Miami enters into the game with a four-game winning streak, all following the bye week. The homer in me wants to pick the Dolphins, but recent history makes me want to be realistic. I’ll go with the Dolphins losing this one – for this article’s sake – but I won’t be shocked in the slightest if we sweep the Jets.
Prediction – Miami 20, New York 24
Week 16 – versus Dallas Cowboys
Dolphins and Cowboys on Christmas Eve definitely add a boost to the holiday, and I’m really looking forward to this one. Taking on one of the elite teams in the NFC, one that is similar to the Dolphins, will be an intriguing holiday matchup and how Miami can stack up with an NFC Super Bowl Contender. Should the Dolphins still be healthy, I’m going to give a slight edge to Miami with a deeper roster.
Prediction – Miami 20, Dallas 17
Week 17 – at Baltimore Ravens
One of the most exciting games from last season, and the Dolphins are headed back to Baltimore once again. Tua had the best game of his professional career, leading the Dolphins on a thrilling comeback, giving fans hope for what the 2022 season could be. I’m not expecting that sort of shoot-out, and Fangio’s defense should be able to contain Lamar Jackson.
Prediction – Miami 28, Baltimore 24
Week 18 – versus Buffalo Bills
The conclusion of the regular season pits Miami against Buffalo, potentially with the AFC East Division title and a home playoff game on the line. Miami has shown that they can compete and even beat Buffalo, and I believe the Dolphins will show up in a must-win game to win the 2023 AFC East Crown.
Prediction – Miami 21, Buffalo 20
Final prediction for the season – 13-4 (Best Case), 11-6 (Floor), 7-10 (If Tua isn’t healthy)
As always, Fins Up!