I donned my extra-rosy-colored glasses and came up with the most optimistic look at the upcoming Miami Dolphins 2016 schedule that anyone could dare to think about. Read on – and take nothing at face value, because I’m really a pragmatic realist at heart, and this drivel just ain’t gonna hold water. And yes, I am very well aware that this was written on 4/20, why do you ask? But forget all that, because in my dreams, it all goes down like this:
Week 1 – At Seattle Seahawks
We’re gonna lose this one. There’s absolutely no hope, as the Dolphins have to travel the farthest point-to-point itinerary in the league to even get to this town, traffic sucks up there, and then they play at… oh wait, they play the late game? Huh. And it’s the first game of the season, plenty of time to travel and prepare for this one. So maybe jet lag isn’t an issue, and Pete Carroll has no idea what rookie head coach Adam Gase might pull out of his playbook hat. So we have a chance…
...in Hell. Nope, we’ll play tougher than expected, but in a Qwest Field home opener, we start off:
Week 2 – At New England Patriots
The Stinkin’ Pats are the team we have to beat if we ever want to lay claim to another AFC East title. And we get to face them in the Upper-Right Coast just one week after suffering a humiliating loss on the Left Coast. The football scheduling gods hate us, right?
Yes, they do. But here’s the shocker of the season: Dolphins win against a Cheating Tom Brady-less Stinkin’ Pats team that may also very well be coming off a humiliating loss of their own (they open at Arizona week 1).
Woohoo – we’re 1-1.
Week 3 – Cleveland Browns
The Browns entered 2016 with a Manziel-sized hangover, and although they seem to have made strides in righting that sinking ship, they still aren’t up to par on the football field. Dolphins get the win in their home opener in the newly minted Canopy Colosseum (okay, yeah that name ain’t happening), and we’re flying high at 2-1.
And we're 2-1.
Week 4 - At Cincinnati Bengals
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph returns to his stomping grounds, and after surveying his former troops in the Bengals defensive backfield, he tells Gase to hit ‘em deep, hit ‘em hard, and hit ‘em often. A shootout ensues, albeit a sloppy one with both teams playing on a short week, and in the end, the aggressive passing game (heard that one before, can’t seem to place where…) keeps Cincinnati off-balance juuuuust enough and…
...we’re sitting pretty at 3-1.
Week 5 – Tennessee Titans
The Dolphins lost wide receiver Rishard Matthews to the Titans in free agency, and I’d fully expect him to have a great game against his former team. But hey, it’s the Titans, the worst team in the league last year, and a team we beat 380-10 last year in Dan Campbell’s first game as a head coach. Oh, it was only 38-10? Huh, I swear it was more than that. Anyhoo…
…we’re 4-1 and talkin’ Super Bowl!
Week 6 – Pittsburgh Steelers
And then we meet an actual Super Bowl contender this year, a team with arguably the most potent offense in the entire NFL. Their defense is still a bit rusty, which means Ryan Tannehill and Company will get their chances, but we ain’t out-shooting Big Ben’s Bad Boys.
Week 7 – Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins historically play like crap every time they visit Buffalo. Might be because even the locals hate that town. I dunno, maybe it’s a nice place and all, but why can’t we beat those guys?
But oh hey, this one’s not in Buffalo - it’s in Miami. And with the stands stuffed full (get it?) with Rex and Rob Ryan look-alikes, the Dolphins notch their 5th win.
Week 8 – Bye
Hey Dolphins fans, I guarantee your team won’t lose this week. Well okay, your fantasy team might lose.
Week 9 – New York Jets
The Dolphins round up their first round of AFC East games with Jets Week, a rite of passage every season when the venom flies from Dolphins fans everywhere. As much as fans hate the Patriots, it’s the Jets that suffer the most wrath from the potty-mouths among us. And unlike in recent years, I expect Gase to have his troops very well prepared coming off the bye.
Could the Dolphins really start their season 6-2? Maybe (probably not), but this is my (temporary) world, and you’re just living it for the moment.
Week 10 – At San Diego Chargers
Remember last year? Okay, I know, dumb thing to ask, since we’ve all gone far out of our way to try not to remember anything from that debacle. But according to the internet, last year the Dolphins donned their super nifty throwback uniforms on Monday Night to valiantly lose to the Giants, only to be whisked off to sunny San Diego, where on a short week, they found themselves checking out the views of the beach more than the playbook. The result? A 30-14 drubbing.
This time around, Gase keeps the focus where it needs to be, and by staying out on the Left Coast in between games, the team will have all next week to ogle the bikinis on Venice beach.
Week 11 – At Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams? What decade are we in? The Rams moved in hopes of rekindling images of their glorious past, but in their first year there, they’re more prone to suffer an Earth-Wake and the accompanying Suh-nami instead.
Yup, Dolphins are 8-2 and talkin’ Super Bowl again.
Week 12 – San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of Super Bowls, the last time we were in one, Joe Montana and the 49ers trounced our butts 38-16. Won’t exactly be a payback game, since almost no one on this team was even alive when that game happened. But the Dolphins prevail!
And now, if only for a brief shining moment, Dolphins fans can relish/wallow in the fact that their team is now 9-2 and being talked about as a playoff contender.
Week 13 – At Baltimore Ravens
And then reality hits. The Ravens approach this game with a revenge factor, after losing 15-13 last December in Miami. These two teams always play each other tough for some reason, but the grind of the season finally catches up to Miami, they lose one they shoulda/woulda/coulda won, and the 5-game winning streak comes to an end.
Week 14 – Arizona Cardinals
With another Super Bowl contender hitting town, the Dolphins drop their second in a row, and Dolphins Twitter is convinced that Adam Gase sucks and has to be fired.
Week 15 – At New York Jets
Just six weeks ago we beat the Jets. But that was at home and coming off a Bye week. This time around the Gang Green is fired up, playing on a rare Saturday night, and are happy to hand the Dolphins their 3rd straight loss.
Dolphins fans attending the Met Life Takeover for this game throw eggs at the team bus as it leaves the stadium.
Week 16 – At Buffalo Bills
We never play well in Buffalo. And Buffalo in December? It’s like 47 degrees below zero up there. Dolphins don’t even get out of bed in that kind of weather.
But Gase, sick and tired of losing and not wanting to see “Fire Gase” banners flying above the stadium next week for the season finale, fires up the troops, gets max effort across the board, and the team proves once and for all that.. well… Buffalo is cold and it sucks.
Week 17 – New England Patriots
Remember waaaaay back in Week 2, when we trounced the Stinkin’ Pats? In their own stadium, even? And put them in an 0-2 hole that they had to climb out of before they could even think about playoffs?
Yeah, well so do the Stinkin’ Pats.
It will come down to this game for the AFC East crown, as two 10-5 teams collide with all the marbles at stake. It won’t come easy, but Adam Gase cements his lock on Coach of the Year, and the Dolphins pull off an astounding win in the closing seconds to clinch the division and a playoff spot!
11-5 and AFC Champs!
Wha… Huh? Oh, my alarm must have gone off. Man, I was having the weirdest dream, guys! I’d tell you about it, but… nah, never mind, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
This completely made-up drivel was concocted by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball
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