The Miami Dolphins will have a major national — and even international — spotlight on them during the 2023 season.
The Dolphins will take part in the NFL’s first Black Friday game, at the New York Jets, and visit Frankfurt, Germany earlier in November for their tilt with the Kansas City Chiefs. On top of that, Miami has three more national standalone games for a season filled with aspirations of serious playoff contention and possible Super Bowl hopes.
The Dolphins visit the New England Patriots in Week 2 on Sept. 17 and get the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 7, Oct. 22, for a pair of prime-time “Sunday Night Football” games. They also host the Tennessee Titans on “Monday Night Football” for quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s return to South Florida. And the Dallas Cowboys’ first visit to Miami Gardens in eight years will be on Christmas Eve.
Here’s a full breakdown of the Dolphins’ 2023 regular-season schedule (games on Sunday unless noted):
Week 1: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sept. 10, 4:25 p.m., CBS
For the first time since 2019, the Dolphins start with an opponent not named the Patriots. And another return to SoFi Stadium after last year’s tough “Sunday Night Football” loss at the Chargers when their defense gave quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fits. He’ll once again get a crack at Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert, who was drafted right behind him in 2020 and got his big contract extension ahead of this season, after the two split their first two meetings. Elite cornerback Jalen Ramsey may be missed as he’s out until December recovering from surgery on the meniscus in his left knee. The Dolphins are slated to visit L.A. for a third consecutive season in 2024 but visiting the Rams for that one.
Week 2: at New England Patriots, Sept. 17, 8:20 p.m., NBC
It doesn’t take long for Miami to see the Patriots. The AFC East figured to have a number of prime-time games, and the Dolphins’ opener in the division gets the “Sunday Night Football” treatment. It comes a week after New England honors Tom Brady in its home opener and follows the Jets-Bills Monday night game in Week 1 on Sept. 11.
Week 3: vs. Denver Broncos, Sept. 24, 1 p.m., CBS
New Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gets his first shot at the team he was head coach for from 2019 through 2021. Denver star cornerback Patrick Surtain II makes his first professional homecoming in the same stadium his father by the same name once called home. The elder Surtain, however, won’t be on the Miami sideline. He had an assistant coaching role with the Dolphins last year but left for a job with the Florida State Seminoles in the offseason.
Week 4: at Buffalo Bills, Oct. 1, 1 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins avoid some potential cold weather in the division — and, in this case, snowballs — with trips to Foxborough and Orchard Park within the first four weeks of the season. Miami returns to the site of its playoff elimination last postseason.
Week 5: vs. New York Giants, Oct. 8, 1 p.m., FOX
The Dolphins once went 19 years without hosting the Giants in Miami, thanks to a 2007 home game being played in London. Making up for lost time, the Dolphins get the G-Men at home for the second time in three seasons. They look to contain running back Saquon Barkley after he initially threatened to hold out in training camp over getting the franchise tag.
Week 6: vs. Carolina Panthers, Oct. 15, 1 p.m., CBS
This is the “17th game” on the Dolphins schedule as NFC South teams are set to visit the AFC East teams that ranked in the same spot in their respective divisions last year. It could be a glimpse at Carolina rookie quarterback and No. 1 draft pick Bryce Young against the Dolphins defense and fellow Alabama alum Tua Tagovailoa.
Week 7: at Philadelphia Eagles, Oct. 22, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts square off for the first time in the NFL after the two Alabama quarterbacks once shared time in the Crimson Tide’s QB room in college, and the storyline will unfold on “Sunday Night Football.” Tagovailoa famously supplanted Hurts at halftime of a comeback victory in the 2017 national championship game. Hurts backed him up in 2018 before finding success at Oklahoma as a transfer in 2019. Hurts has had professional success since being a second-round pick in Tagovailoa’s same 2020 draft. He led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance last season and, this offseason, signed a five-year, $255 million contract extension with nearly $180 million guaranteed.
Week 8: vs. New England Patriots, Oct. 29, 1 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins are done with the Patriots before the halfway point of the season. Coach Mike McDaniel can remember getting his first career head-coaching win at home against Bill Belichick in last year’s opener, but he’ll look to do better than a split against New England in a competitive AFC East. Miami then prepares to fly international.
Week 9: at Kansas City Chiefs (in Frankfurt, Germany), Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m., NFL Network
The NFL opted against having star wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s first game against his former team be a return to Arrowhead Stadium, shipping the Dolphins’ 2023 game at the Chiefs to Germany. It’s Tagovailoa versus Patrick Mahomes in Miami’s first regular-season game in Germany, although the team did visit Deutschland in the 1992 preseason. The Dolphins have played five times in London (going 1-4).
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Nov. 19, 1 p.m., CBS
Can this one at home match the wild endings to the Dolphins’ 2020 and 2021 trips to Vegas? This matchup reunites McDaniel with new Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had McDaniel on the offensive coaching staff during his time with the San Francisco 49ers.
Week 12: at New York Jets, Friday, Nov. 24, 3 p.m., Amazon Prime Video
The NFL’s first Black Friday game puts the Dolphins-Jets AFC East rivalry on national display from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Could another historic installment in the series be in store in Miami’s first game against Aaron Rodgers as a Jet?
Week 13: at Washington Commanders, Dec. 3, 1 p.m., FOX
Fifty-one years and two team names ago, the Dolphins completed their perfect 1972 season with a win over Washington’s football franchise. The two met again in the Super Bowl 10 years later, with the result going the other way. This one figures to have much smaller stakes. But if Ramsey’s return comes in December, this could be the first game back, with him possibly lining up against Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin.
Week 14: vs. Tennessee Titans, Monday, Dec. 11, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Or the Dolphins could save Ramsey’s debut with the team for “Monday Night Football.” It might be quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s first game back at Hard Rock Stadium — if he’s the starter at this point and not second-round pick Will Levis. Tannehill, who was the Dolphins’ starting QB for six seasons from 2012 through 2018 (except 2017 when he missed the entire season), faced Miami once in 2021, but that was in Nashville.
Week 15: vs. New York Jets, Dec. 17, 1 p.m., CBS
Rodgers got the best of the Dolphins in his last visit to Hard Rock Stadium, last Christmas with the Green Bay Packers. Last year, McDaniel split against Robert Saleh, whom he was together with on the 49ers coaching staffs of recent years, clinching a playoff berth with an ugly 11-6 home win in the regular-season finale.
Week 16: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Dec. 24, 4:25 p.m., FOX
“America’s Team” and its fan base comes to South Florida right before Christmas as the Dolphins look to snap a four-game losing streak against the Cowboys. The last win in the series came in the 2003 Thanksgiving game in Dallas.
Week 17: at Baltimore Ravens, Dec. 31, 1 p.m., CBS
Potential fireworks on New Year’s Eve after last year’s meeting. What does Tagovailoa have in store this time at M&T Bank Stadium following last season’s epic six-touchdown performance to come back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter? But also, what does Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson have for the Dolphins after the South Florida product locked himself into a long-term extension in Baltimore?
Week 18: vs. Buffalo Bills, Jan. 6 or 7, Time/TV TBD
While the Dolphins don’t get cold Buffalo, the Bills avoid the infamous heat and humidity from last season’s Week 3 game at Hard Rock Stadium. For a third consecutive season, the Dolphins finish the season at home against a divisional foe, rotating the three AFC East opponents after home finales against the Jets last season and Patriots in 2021. This matchup could offer major playoff implications.
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