Scripting the Season: Predicting All 16 Games on Miami’s 2015 Schedule
Making Some Very Early Predictions for the Miami Dolphins 2015 Season:
The NFL Schedule Release is like Christmas for football fans. We get to see who our teams will face in 2015, and get an idea of how the upcoming season might unfold. This article will look at the order of Miami’s games and make a very early prediction for each of the match ups. All of these picks are subject to change after the draft and late-free agent signings, but any fans who say that they don’t pick up their team’s schedule and immediately count W’s and L’s are probably the same type of people who claim they don’t pee in the shower. Liars.
Week 1: @ Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins are a complete mess, and have serious work to do on the roster before they can be contenders. While opening at home would’ve been nice, Miami drew a good card starting their season against this Washington team.
Week 2: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a promising young team, and have put plenty of talent around Blake Bortles this offseason. The problem is we don’t know how effective Bortles will be, regardless of the offensive firepower. The Jaguars’ defense has also been suspect, so look for Miami to take advantage of their youth and notch another early victory.
Miami has had trouble with Buffalo in recent years, but a healthy offensive line and much improved defense should help push them over Rex Ryan’s new club. The Dolphins can ride the momentum of a 2-0 start into their home opener, and start off their divisional series on a good note.
Week 4: VS. New York Jets (London)
My rant about Miami losing its favorite annual home game should probably be saved for another time. Despite my feelings about moving this specific matchup overseas, the Dolphins actually have an advantage due to their familiarity playing overseas in recent years. Maybe the Jets will miss the bus because they forgot to reset their watches? Maybe they’ll get held up having tea and crumpets? Who knows, but Miami’s fan base in London could give them a slight edge at Wembley.
Week 5: BYE
Riding into the bye week 4-0. As Jameis Winston would say, “we skrong”. (Note: the Buffalo game is impossible to predict this early, but the team should be at least 3-1).
Week 6: @ Tennessee Titans
While Tampa Bay was the worst team in the NFL last year, the Titans undoubtedly had the worst roster. One draft cannot fix the number of holes on their team. While this has “how did the Dolphins lose against them” written all over it, I think Tennessee is just too bad to even fathom losing to. If the Fins do lose, I say they forfeit the previous 4 wins and just move to the CFL.
Week 7: VS. Houston Texans
When Moses brought down the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, he mistakenly dropped one, and watched it slowly roll down the mountain, breaking into thousands of pieces. Rumor has it that the 11th Commandment read as follows: “In 2001 a franchise will be created solely for the purpose of NEVER losing to the Miami Dolphins. That franchise shall be called, the Houston Texans.” Yes folks, it is a holy commandment. The Dolphins will never beat the Texans.
Week 8: @ New England
The Dolphins drew a short straw, having to play New England in primetime at Gillette Stadium. Those three circumstances create the perfect storm, and Miami will have to do something miraculous for them to overcome Bill Belichick’s group. Unfortunately, the Dolphins experience their first losing streak of the 2015 season. Quite deflating.
Week 9: @ Buffalo Bills
By this time in the year, Buffalo is cold, and Rex Ryan has his team in midseason form. The Dolphins will be reeling from two straight losses, and Ryan Tannehill could spend plenty of time inspecting the grass (no, not like teams do when they play Denver) courtesy of Mario Williams.
Week 10: @ Eagles
By now, Sam Bradford will have gotten hurt,and Mark Sanchez will have occupied an entire segment of ESPN Not-Top-10 on his own. Ladies and gentlemen, lets pray for Tebow Time, or even better, a Barkley Bonanza. The Eagles have plenty of uncertainty, and Bill Lazor will want to beat Chip Kelly badly. Just as Miami has “How did you lose that?” games, they also have “How did you win that?” matchups. I have a gut feeling that this is a pleasant surprise for Dolphins’ fans.
Week 11: VS. Cowboys
This game is a rematch of Super Bowl VI, but I think the result could be opposite this time around. Miami matches up extremely well against Dallas. The Dolphins will attack strength with strength, and will give even the Cowboys’ elite lineman problems with pass rush. Brent Grimes will have to be on his best to hold down Dez Bryant, and the linebackers could have trouble matching up with Jason Witten. This game is impossible to predict before we see the Cowboys’ running game with Darren McFadden, but Miami could have the edge due to matchups.
Week 12: @ New York Jets
By this time in the season, the New York media might already be calling for Todd Bowles’ head. I don’t believe New York will pose too much of a threat to Miami in this game. Side note- Joe Philbin is 3-0 against the Jets in New York.
Week 13: VS Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens just seem to have something figured out against the Dolphins. Baltimore always seems to beat Miami in the most heartbreaking way possible, and look for history to repeat itself. John “Smaller Paycheck than my Brother” Harbaugh notches another win against Joe “I Make Less Money Than Both of Them” Philbin.
Week 14: VS New York Giants
This is one of the hardest games on the schedule to predict, as it is impossible to know how good New York could be with Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham on the field together. The most likely scenario is a shootout, in which I believe Miami prevails. My personal policy: toss up goes to the home team.
Week 15: @ San Diego Chargers
As I said about the last game: toss up goes to the home team. Miami could be hitting the wall at this time of year, and it’s the Dolphins’ favorite time of year to drop games. This all changes if Philip Rivers or Eric Weddle are not on the team anymore, but look for the Chargers to take their revenge for last year’s 37-0 humiliation.
Week 16: VS Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck has not had much luck against Miami, going 0-2 against the Dolphins up to this point. I believe that changes now, as Indianapolis is in win-now mode. Frank Gore and Andre Johnson could be the difference makers in a homecoming game, and relive their glory days at the U. While the Dolphins have improved this offseason, they are not yet ready to compete with a Super Bowl contender like the Colts.
Week 17: VS New England Patriots By Week 17, the Patriots will have clinched, and Bill Belichick will be resting Tom Brady with a hangnail. The Patriots will most likely have nothing to play for, and if they are sitting at 9-6, jobs will be on the line in Miami. If New England is resting starters, Miami will be able to pick up a crucial Week 17 win. However, this is the team’s favorite time to implode, and we don’t know what the Patriots’ status will be, so it’s another toss up.
Final Record: 10-6
While this two game improvement for 2015 would indicate that I believe Miami has gotten better, I think it is impossible to say before the draft. The road trips will be tough for the team, but this schedule is somewhat friendly for the Dolphins. The obvious question marks are New York and Buffalo, who have both improved this offseason. Even if these predictions are correct, who knows if 10-6 would even be enough?
The season will most likely come down to the three late season games against San Diego, Indianapolis, and New England. Scary stuff, folks. The Miami Dolphins will do the same thing they have done for years under Joe Philbin: they will drop easy games, and win a couple of improbable ones. The motivation to play for their coach’s job could come into play late in the year, but overall, this might be another up and down season for the Dolphins. All of this could very well change after the draft and training camp, but this “Way Too Early Prediction” is a good barometer for the Dolphins now that we have the 2015 schedule.