Grading the Dolphins 2024 schedule: Tough luck for Mike McDaniel and Miami

The Miami Dolphins had a rough schedule release day, but there is still much hope for the 2024 season.
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The NFL released their schedule for the 2024 NFL season. Actually, a bunch of NFL insiders and guys who fancy themselves as reporters have been leaking the game for the Miami Dolphins 2024 schedule for a little while now. Things are now official, though, and it's time to start planning for the fall.

The NFL calendar never stops and everyone has to figure out what games they're going to attend and drop a bunch of coin on. It's a lot of fun if you plan on heading to any games. It's also a bit of fun if you're looking to forecast what the record of the 2024 Dolphins might be based on their schedule. Suspending things like injuries, momentum, plus hot and cold streaks, months ahead of time is a real hoot for many.

Last year, the Dolphins had a favorable schedule. They had several home games at the end of the season and only one cold-weather game at Baltimore. It was a berry patch and it should have been taken advantage of. However, it wasn't and once again the Dolphins floundered at the end of the season when the stakes were raised.

This is a new year, a clean slate, and a brand new schedule. We can't let ghosts of past Dolphins seasons defeat us before we even set foot on the gridiron. Having said that, the look of the new schedule is not doing Miami any favors, with some tough stretches on the way.

The Miami Dolphins schedule is not favorable at all for Mike McDaniel

Last year on NFL schedule release day, I gave the Dolphins an A-. They had their way with that schedule. This year, the Dolphins got taken to the woodshed and it shows, as they're getting a C grade for how things look ahead of Week 1.

Just about right off the bat, the Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in Miami in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football. Now we all know that the reason for this is because OSHA > NFL, but man, how many years are we going to let the Bills avoid that big star in the sky? Let them call their union rep if the heat is unfair.

Next, you have the Dolphins having their bye week in Week 6. Personally, I'd rather have that bye closer toward the middle of the season, but maybe this will be a situation where they get back Bradley Chubb if they're being extra cautious with his recovery from tearing his ACL in Week 17 last year.

However, the worst part of the Dolphin's schedule is that eight of their final 13 games will be on the road. That's not something that typically jives well with the Dolphins. Yes, we can't look at past teams as evidence to predict the future, but we know Miami's modus operandi is they start the year off strong and then wilt at the end of the season when the leaves change and the temperature falls.

Well, this year is built for that exact thing to happen. Starting with Thanksgiving night at Green Bay, then at Houston in a dome, at Cleveland in Week 17, and then in Week 18 at the Jets - that's a recipe for disaster for a team that is always built to play well in slick heat, but get pushed around in gritty cold weather. Having five primetime games is nice, even though the Jets have six. There's not much you're going to be able to do about that. New York will always be New York and they draw a lot of attention.

The glass-half-full thought about the schedule is that this is the perfect year for the Dolphins to change that narrative and prove to everyone that it doesn't matter what the elements are. This is the perfect year for the Dolphins to show that their need for speed offense has a second gear and it can go up and down the field on defenses in multiple ways.

If the Dolphins are interested in changing the perception of who they are, then the 2024 season couldn't have been laid out any better. Their attitude when seeing this schedule should be, "Good, we were hoping we could go play up north late in the year." If Mike McDaniel needs to get a few more 'I wish it were colder' shirts, then so be it.

There is no reason to be bitter towards the schedule makers. It is what it is. Go out and play good football. The Dolphins have had the same core of players and coaches for a few years, so they should be well versed on what they need to do. They just need to go out there and do it. It's all set up for them to do exactly that.