Miami Dolphins 2023 schedule: way too early game-by-game preview and predictions

F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Previews
F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Previews / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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Week 16: vs Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

In a rare home 4:25 PM start time, the Dolphins host "America's Team", the Dallas Cowboys in week 16. Depending how both teams are performing, this game could easily be flexed to Sunday night.

The Cowboys are a very good football team. They'll choke in the playoffs, as is tradition, but they will be a force in the regular season. I see Dak Prescott bouncing back from his bad season last year as Dallas added Brandin Cooks to a receiving room led by Ceedee Lamb. But their best position group is their defensive front seven, led by phenom Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence. The two teams have met 15 times in the past, including the Super Bowl in 1972 to top off Miami's perfect season. It's a matchup that we don't see often, but it's pretty even at 8-7, in favor of the Cowboys.

This will be an extremely tough test for Miami. The Dolphins must fire on all cylinders on both offense and defense. Micah Parsons must be accounted for and Mike McDaniel has to come up with the perfect game plan to win. I think Miami falls just short, and after a Parsons strip sack with less than two minutes left, the Cowboys win 34-27. Miami falls to 10-5.

Week 17: at Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson
Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens / G Fiume/GettyImages

Facing the prospect of missing out on the division once again, the Dolphins enter week 17 in 'must-win' mode as they travel up to Baltimore and meet Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

The Ravens locked up Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal, signed Odell Beckham Jr., and drafted wide receiver Zay Flowers. They've had a productive offseason and look to make a deep playoff run. The Ravens have played the Dolphins 18 times, owning a 10-8 all-time record on Miami. The last time they played was last season, when the Dolphins stormed back to win 42-38 in one of the best games of the year. I think it'll be another shootout this year.

The Dolphins have just enough fire power on defense to keep Lamar and the Ravens under 40 points. The offense has more than enough fire power to score over 40 points. Don't overthink it, just outscore Baltimore. The Dolphins get a much-needed win, 45-35, as they enter the final week of the season at 11-5.

Week 18: vs Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The final week of the regular season is at home against the Bills in a game that could very well be for the division championship.

The Bills have been a thorn in the Dolphins side lately. They can finally slay this demon in week 18. It'll have been so long since their week four matchup that depending on injuries, player progression and coaching decisions, it could be two very different-looking teams. It's still the same deal, though, the Dolphins must contain Josh Allen and the Buffalo air raid offense. If the Dolphins can consistently get to Josh Allen, they have a chance.

Miami should have no issue moving the ball and scoring, but Jalen Ramsey must prove his worth and shadow Stefon Diggs all day. If he can take away Diggs, I don't see any way the Bills win the game. The key is to take away Diggs and keep the gas throttling on offense. If Miami can just play their game with the roster they've built -- explosive offense and a stifling pass defense -- they can take down the Bills in Miami.

The Dolphins win 33-26 and win the AFC East, finishing their season at 12-5 heading into the postseason.