8 Dolphins games in 2024 where they'll be able to silence their haters

The Dolphins want to shed the "they can't beat good teams" label in 2024.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during the first
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during the first / JIM RASSOL/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA

In 2023, the Miami Dolphins managed to beat one team with a winning record when they played them: the Dallas Cowboys. This year, they will have more than a few opportunities to prove to the naysayers that they can beat a good team. The Dolphins' struggles against teams above .500 last year were a topic of media contention when Miami was being discussed as potential Super Bowl contenders. Instead, the lack of wins against those teams gave mainstream media personalities a reason to poke fun.

Indeed, 2023 wasn't pretty at times, but if Miami can turn it around this season, there should be no reason for them not to be considered playoff contenders or more. Here are the teams that finished above .500 last year that Miami will face in 2024:

  • Bills - 11-6 - Beat Miami in week 18 to clinch the AFC East and a playoff spot. Swept the Dolphins in 2023.
  • Browns - 11-6 - Made the playoffs
  • Texans - 10-7 - Won the AFC South division
  • Jaguars - 9-8 - Missed the playoffs in a tie-breaker
  • 49ers - 12-5 - Lost in the Super Bowl
  • Rams - 10-7 - Made the playoffs
  • Seahawks - 9-8 - Missed the playoffs
  • Packers - 9-8 - Made the playoffs

The Dolphins and Mike McDaniel have plenty of doubters ahead of Week 1

The Dolphins will also face the Raiders, who finished 8-9 last year. The Jets, whom Miami will play twice, finished the 2023 season with a 7-10 record. This is without stability at the quarterback position. Many see an Aaron Rodgers-led team as one in the postseason hunt.

Miami has no choice but to beat the better teams in 2024. With eight of their 17 games being against quality opponents, there is little room for errors against bad teams, like last year's game against the Titans. Miami has to open the season at full speed and not let up.

Most importantly, Mike McDaniel must do a better job at making in-game adjustments when his initial game plan is defended. That means using other players more consistently to keep defenses off balance. It means using his rushing attack in all four quarters to set up the passing offense. The key to this season will come down to McDaniel's ability in this area. If he can't adjust, the Dolphins may require him to give those duties to someone else, something McDaniel said he considered at the end of last year, but ultimately decided against.