The Miami Dolphins played in the first ever NFL game held outside of North America when they lost to the New York Giants in London during the 2007 season. Miami will again be the “home” team when they face the New Orleans Saints October 1st.
It may seem to fans that Miami plays in London every year. Actually the Dolphins have only played in London three out of the last four seasons, albeit with mixed results. Along with their state of the art renovations to Hard Rock Stadium, part of their winning bid for Super Bowl LIV in 2020 including giving up another game in Miami to play New Orleans over the pond.
The most memorable, well really forgettable, game in London was in 2015 versus the Jets. The Dolphins looked disinterested and were beaten 24-17, the score was not indicative of how lopsided the game really was. The Jets stormed out to a 20-7 lead at halftime from which Miami did not recover, and this performance was the last game as Head Coach for Joe Philbin.
Miami did rebound after the London debacle and rallied under interim coach Dan Campbell winning two straight games in convincing fashion. Campbell coached the team to a 5-7 record in his twelve games as coach, but the team finished the season at 6-10.
In 2014 the Dolphins played their best game in London, demolishing the Oakland Raiders 38-14 in which at the time was a necessary statement game from Ryan Tannehill. The quarterback had been under fire leading up to the contest but had a great performance completing 23 of 31 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
Given their history in London it is hard to say which team will show up, but Miami has a different mindset under coach Adam Gase than in years past. There was great strategy in how Miami scheduled this game, they play the New York Jets the previous Sunday in the Meadowlands. They will likely fly directly to London from there and the flight from New York is actually about 90 minutes shorter than it would be from Miami.
With the game not being followed by the bye week, Miami has to get right back to business against Tennessee at home. The Dolphins will not have their bye until November 19th. This was at the request of the Dolphins since afterwards they have probably their toughest stretch of the season, with two out of the three next games versus New England.
Hopefully Miami can take care of business and should be favored against the Saints, New Orleans still has Drew Brees but their defense is not a top unit. Look for a great atmosphere in London as usual, and it’s always nice to wake up early Sunday morning and get ready for some football. Kickoff time is 9:30 Eastern and the game will be televised locally on Fox.