The NFL released the 2022 regular season schedule last night, slating all 272 contests across the 18-week season. The Miami Dolphins start the season hosting the New England Patriots and end it hosting the New York Jets. What else happens in between? This morning we will take a look at the immediate reactions to Miami’s 2022 schedule.
Before we take a look at the parts of the schedule that stand out, it is time to review the schedule. The NFL schedule is built using a rotation process by divisions. The Dolphins have their normal home-and-home series between their AFC East rivals, hosting and visiting the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. The AFC East matches up with the AFC North and the NFC North this year, giving Miami home games against the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings and away games at the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions. Each team then faces the team that finished in the same position as they did the previous season from the two conference divisions they are not scheduled to face (in this case the AFC South and AFC West) as well as the team that finished in the same position from a division from the other conference (this year, the AFC East faces the NFC West for this extra game). That gives Miami a home again against the Houston Texans and away games at the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.
How did those games shake out on the schedule? Here is what was released for Miami last night:
2022 Miami Dolphins Schedule
|Week 1||vs. New England Patriots||Sunday, 9/11, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 2||at Baltimore Ravens||Sunday, 9/18, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 3||vs. Buffalo Bills||Sunday, 9/25, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 4||at Cincinnati Bengals||Thursday, 9/29, 8:15 p.m.||Amazon Prime|
|Week 5||at New York Jets||Sunday, 10/9, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 6||vs. Minnesota Vikings||Sunday, 10/16, 1 p.m.||FOX|
|Week 7||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||Sunday, 10/23, 8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|Week 8||at Detroit Lions||Sunday, 10/30, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 9||at Chicago Bears||Sunday, 11/6, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 10||vs. Cleveland Browns||Sunday, 11/13, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 12||vs. Houston Texans||Sunday, 11/27, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 13||at San Francisco 49ers||Sunday, 12/4, 4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|Week 14||at Los Angeles Chargers||Sunday, 12/11, 4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 15||at Buffalo Bills||12/17 or 12/18, Time TBD||TBD|
|Week 16||vs. Green Bay Packers||Sunday, 12/25, 1 p.m.||FOX|
|Week 17||at New England Patriots||Sunday, 1/1, 1 p.m.||CBS|
|Week 18||vs. New York Jets||Sunday, 1/8, Time TBD||TBD|
The Dolphins start with the Patriots, the Ravens, the Bills, and the Bengals. That is a combined 39-29 record, with two division champs and a wildcard team in the first four games. The Ravens were the worst of the group, finishing at 8-9 last year, but are always a team that can beat up on the Dolphins. In the last 12 meetings, including a playoff matchup, with the Ravens, the Dolphins have only won three times, though they did come away with a 22-10 win last year. If the Dolphins are going to prove they are ready to be a playoff contender, they may have to do it as soon as the season starts.
It also should be noted the Dolphins have opened their season the last two years against the Patriots, but both of those games were in New England. Miami went 1-1 in those games, but that loss in 2020 was also the last time they lost to the Patriots, having one the second meeting in 2020 and swept New England last year. Can Miami extend the winning streak to four straight with a Week 1 victory? According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Miami opens as a three-point favorite over the Patriots.
Early Thursday Night Football
The Week 4 game against the Bengals is Miami’s Thursday Night Football game for the season. A showdown between Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, takes center stage. While the game has already been highlighted for being in the tough first stretch of games for the Dolphins, it does have a benefit. The Dolphins get their Thursday game out of the way early in the year. While it could be better if Miami were to have the game at home, having an early-season Thursday game should negate some of the concerns of a short week between Week 3’s Sunday game and Week 4’s Thursday game. Getting the Thursday game early in the season should help the Dolphins simply because they will not have as many collisions and snaps played as they would if the game were later in the season.
The early Thursday game also gives Miami a mini-bye early in the season. With 10 days between Week 4 and Week 5, the Dolphins will have plenty of time to rest and recover after the first (nearly) quarter of the season.
Limited Primetime Exposure
The Dolphins only landed two primetime games in 2022, the Thursday Night Football appearance in Week 4 and a Week 7 Sunday Night Football game against the Steelers. The Dolphins, after two decades of struggles and mediocrity, simply do not seem to be a priority for the league to get into the key matchups each week. The team still has a large fan base nationwide, but they need to prove themselves a true contender if they want to add to their primetime exposure.
Perfect Season Celebration
The Sunday Night Football game will be the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Dolphins’ Perfect Season. Still the only team to not lose a game on their way to a Super Bowl championship, Miami’s 1972 undefeated team will get the national spotlight.
…But So Will The Brian Flores Lawsuit
I said this a couple of times yesterday, but it deserves to be reiterated. It is a little surprising that the league went ahead and scheduled the Dolphins and Steelers in a Sunday Night Football game, creating a situation where the Brian Flores lawsuit can take center stage. The former Dolphins head coach who is suing the league and several teams for racial discrimination, is an assistant coach with the Steelers now. The relationship between Flores and the Dolphins and the lawsuit now seem set to be a major storyline for this game. The league could have buried the Dolphins and Steelers somewhere in a Sunday afternoon. Instead, they seem to be either ready to face it head-on, or they are hoping the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Perfect Season will drown out everything else.
The Dolphins had a Week 14 bye week last year, which felt really late in the season. With the Week 4 Thursday night game and the 10 days until their Week 5 game, the Dolphins’ bye week seems perfectly situated in Week 11 this year. They will play four games, get 10 days off, play another six games, get 14 days off, then play seven games to finish the year. It feels like the season is fairly well broken up by their potential rest periods.
Laremy Tunsil returns
The Texans played in Miami last year, but Tunsil was on injured reserve already and did not play in the game. That means Week 12 would be Tunsil’s first time back in Miami since the Dolphins traded him to the Texans in August 2019. That trade is still paying dividends to Miami, who hold a first-round pick from the 49ers next year as part of the lineage of the Tunsil trade. There will definitely be discussion of the trade as this game rolls around.
The league potentially took care of the Dolphins, who will travel the most miles of any team not leaving the country this year. That travel distance could be lessened should the team decide they will take advantage of their Week 13 and Week 14 games both in California. Miami will play the 49ers in Week 13, then the Chargers in Week 14. The team could decide to stay in California for the week, finding somewhere willing to allow them to practice so they do not have to fly back to Miami, only to fly back to California a few days later. They do not have to do it, but the league set up the possibility of a long California trip in the middle of the year.
Christmas in Miami
Christmas day is a Sunday this year, with the league deciding they will put three stand-alone games on the schedule for the holiday, with the majority of the games being played on Saturday. The Dolphins will host the Packers in the early game of the Christmas day triple-header, giving Miami another national exposure slot despite only having the two primetime games.
In Week 13, Miami will be at the 49ers. In Week 14, they will be at the Chargers. In Week 15, they all be at the Bills. In Week 17, they will be at the Patriots. The one home game during this five week stretch? The Packers on Christmas. That is a stretch facing a combined record of 53-32 from 2021, with four of the five teams having made the playoffs last year, while the Chargers missed the postseason (like the Dolphins) by a half game. It is a tough proud as the team comes down the stretch and hopes to make the postseason.
The game between the Bengals and Dolphins was already highlighted for the Burrow versus Tagovailoa matchup. That is not the only 2020 NFL Draft quarterback matchup, however, as the Week 14 Chargers game will feature Tagovailoa and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert, the sixth pick in the Draft, one spot after Miami picked Tagovailoa. The Dolphins will also host the Philadelphia Eagles this year, potentially providing a Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts (2020 53rd overall pick) matchup, but that will be in preseason game three and likely neither starter will play much, if any, of the game.
The Bills and Patriots weeks have been discussed in the tough start and tough ending to the season. The Jets have been skipped thus far. There is some thought that the Jets are ready to take a step forward, especially after the NFL Draft, but a step forward for a team that was 4-13 last year and has not beaten another AFC East team in two years, may not be moving the team into playoff contention. The Jets have to earn respect still (not that the Dolphins do not have to do the same, but at least the Dolphins have had winning seasons each of the last two years). They need to be highlighted, no matter how their 2022 season turns out because (a) the Dolphins will still play them twice, (b) the MetLife Takeover date is now known in Week 5, and (c) the Dolphins get to end the season against the Jets in Miami. If the Dolphins have survived the season and are in competition for a playoff berth, having the Jets to end the season could be a bonus for them. No game in the NFL is easy, but the Jets are not the Bills or the Patriots, so it could be easier than what Miami may have faced in Week 18. The game could be flexed to Saturday should the league want to highlight a playoff scenario from the contest.
The Dolphins last played the Jets in the season finale in 2014 – with New York winning that game 37-24. Miami has played the Bills or the Patriots to end the year in each of the last seven seasons – it seems about time Miami finished the year against New York.
Miami football significantly upgraded experience with transfers
The Miami football team entered the 2022 offseason with a lack of experience at several positions. New head coach Mario Cristobal and his staff have adeptly used the transfer portal to improve the experience for the Hurricanes at multiple positions. Miami has added 11 transfers during the 2022 offseason.
Cornerback Darryl Porter Jr., defensive ends Mitchell Agude and Akheem Mesidor and linebacker Caleb Johnson all project as starters for the Miami football team on defense in 2022. Defensive linemen Jacob Lichtenstein and Antonio Moultrie add depth, experience at versatility to play inside and on the edge in 2022.
Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor is entering his second season of college football after tying for the team lead with 8.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman in 2021 despite playing limited snaps. Fourth-year redshirt sophomore Jared Harrison-Hunte and Taylor are the projected starting DTs in 2022.
Miami also added rising sophomore DT Darrell Jackson from Maryland. Jackson had 22 tackles for the Terrapins as a true freshman in 2021. Rising fifth-year redshirt junior DT Jordan Miller provides Miami with experience and depth. Harrison-Hunte, Jordan and Taylor were the only returning Miami DTs with extensive snaps.
Porter is part of an experienced group of CBs for the Miami football program. Al Blades Jr., Marcus Clark, Marcus Clarke and Te’Cory Couch are all returning CBs for Miami who have started at some point in their careers. Tyrique Stevenson was the best CB for Miami during the 2021 season after transferring from Georgia.
Agude and Mesidor bring extensive experience as starters at UCLA and West Virginia. Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams return for Miami to provide the Hurricanes depth at edge rusher. Miami has a group of young talented edge rushers behind them who can develop this year and learn from the veterans.
Johnson is expected to start for Miami at middle LB over returning starter Corey Flagg. Keontra Smith and Waynmon Steed return for Miami at the outside LBs. Freshman Wesley Bissainthe is expected to challenge to be in the rotation at LB. Miami lost most of its depth at LB to the transfer portal.
2-year starting LB at UCLA
Miami adds a 5th Power 5 transfer starting defender. Incredible
✅ Jake Lichtenstein (USC)
✅ Mitchell Agude (UCLA)
✅ Akheem Mesidor (WVU)
✅ Daryl Porter (WVU)
✅ Caleb Johnson (UCLA) https://t.co/pbVGQTGdEj
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) April 22, 2022
On offense, running back Henry Parrish and wide receiver Frank Ladson add depth and experience. Parrish was the top RB for Miami this spring with returnees Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton out with injuries. Rising sophomore Thad Franklin is expected to be part of the rotation for Miami at RB in 2022.
Parrish is valuable as a receiver and runner out of the backfield. Miami lost Cody Brown as a transfer after spring practice. Highly touted true freshman RB TreVonte’ Citizen brings size and speed and could challenge for carries this season. Chaney, Knighton and Parrish provide Miami with good experience at RB.
Ladson will compete with Jacolby George and leading returning WR Key’Shawn Smith for first-team snaps as the outside WR in 2022. Smith started with leading receivers Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo in 2021. George had an outstanding spring and is a candidate for a breakout 2022 season.
With 14 signees in the 2022 freshman class, Cristobal and his staff did an outstanding job using the transfer portal to add depth, experience at talent to the roster for the upcoming season. The transfers have a nice blend of experience and players with multi seasons of eligibility remaining.
Photo Gallery: Canes Capture ACC Crown
No. 6 Miami Falls in Rubber Game to No. 21 Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Miami Hurricanes baseball team came up short to rival Florida State, 6-4, in front of 4,544 fans at Dick Howser Stadium Sunday afternoon.
“I’m disappointed in the outcome,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “Even though Alejandro [Rosario] gave up some hits, some were some soft hits. I liked the way he pitched, to be honest with you. I thought he handled himself well.”
Rosario struck out six across 3 2/3 for the Hurricanes (37-14, 18-9 ACC) before giving way to the bullpen.
After the Seminoles (32-18, 15-12 ACC) struck in the first inning on a two-run jack, the Hurricanes back Rosario and responded immediately.
Miami right fielder Zach Levenson ripped an RBI double to left, cutting the deficit in half.
Then, one inning later, the sophomore worked a bases-loaded walk to even the score, 2-2.
Freshman second baseman Dorian Gonzalez Jr. followed with a sacrifice fly, giving the Hurricanes a 3-2 advantage.
After surrendering the early home run, Rosario settled down across the next two frames, retiring six of seven hitters.
Florida State regained the lead with three unearned tallies in the fourth, ending Rosario’s day.
Miami relievers Rafe Schlesinger and Ronaldo Gallo held the Seminoles right there.
Schlesinger got a pop out to end the fourth before Gallo tossed a scoreless fifth.
Right-hander Alex McFarlane struck out the side in the sixth, keeping the Hurricanes within two.
“Given the situation, we had a lot of guys available in the bullpen, so we’re probably going to them a little quicker than we normally would,” DiMare said. “It’s a Sunday rubber-match game, it’s a big game, so that’s why we’re doing it. I thought all the pitchers came in and did a very good job.”
In the seventh, Florida State tacked on an insurance run on third baseman Jordan Lacey’s RBI triple before Andrew Walters entered to get the final out of the frame.
Miami center fielder Jacob Burke got the run back with a solo shot in the eighth, pulling Miami within 6-4.
Walters punched out the side in the eighth, but the Hurricanes couldn’t come up with a key knock in the ninth off of Florida State reliever Davis Hare, who earned his third save of the season.
Florida State hurler Ross Dunn (2-4) earned the win, surrendering only one run over five innings out of the bullpen.
After a day off Monday, the Hurricanes return home for their final homestand of the regular season, beginning with the FGCU Eagles Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Mark Light Field.
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