There is a lot of hopeful optimism swirling around the Miami Dolphins and their fan base lately. After a rough, rollercoaster-like season and start to the off season, the team has hired a new coach. Mike McDaniel is young and innovative, bringing an offensive scheme with him from his coaching tree that is slowly infiltrating the league.
The new head honcho has spent the last week filling out his coaching staff, and the names and the resumes that come with them are only adding to the optimism. Both established play callers as well as popular former players have been brought in as coaches, and most (if not all) of the hires have been met with high praise.
While being excited about the future is welcomed and healthy, Dolphins fans may want to pump the brakes on the optimism for the 2022 season. There will obviously be learning curves for a team under a new head coach, and especially so when that head coach is a first timer. But unlike last year, the schedule for this upcoming season looks tough. So tough, in fact, that carving out a realistic path to the playoffs feels difficult.
The Miami Dolphins 2022 schedule will be much tougher than it was last season. Here are the opponents rankings ahead of free agency.
In 2021, Miami became the first team in NFL history to have 7-game winning and losing streaks in the same season, and the latter came thanks in large part to a noticeably soft spot in the schedule. The Dolphins went up against sub-par quarterbacks, letting their defense find and establish an identity, which led to them carrying a lack-luster offense in to controlling their own destiny with two games to play.
There is no soft spot on the 2022 schedule. Miami will play against a couple of teams that are likely to be bottom feeders, but they’ll also take on some of the league’s elite franchises. They’ll face off against two of the four teams that played on Championship Sunday, and another two that probably should have been there. They’ll take on MVP quarterbacks, both winners and candidates, as well as other up-and-coming elite passers.
So which teams are going to prove to be the toughest for the Miami Dolphins? Here is a pre-free agency rankings of their opponents for the 2022 season: