The dates and times for matchups on the Miami Dolphins’ 2022 schedule are set to be announced on Thursday night in an 8 p.m. program on NFL Network, but the opener has already been reported.
The Dolphins will kick off the regular season at home against the New England Patriots, according to multiple Boston-area reports, including the Boston Herald.
All the opponents have already been determined. The Dolphins, as always, play home and away against their three divisional rivals — the Bills, Patriots and Jets — face the entire AFC North in a three-year intra-conference rotation, the whole NFC North in a four-year inter-conference rotation and also have games against the AFC West’s Chargers, the AFC South’s Texans and NFC West’s 49ers.
In 2022, the Dolphins, with a road game against the Lions, could be in play for their first Thanksgiving Day game since 2011. Should they land a Sunday Night Football game, it would be the first time since 2017, which is also the last time they hosted a Monday Night Football game, having others in years since on the road.
Miami will not leave the country in 2022 after getting an international series game in London against the Jaguars last season, but the Dolphins, with two trips to the West Coast and several more up north, are slated to travel the fourth-most miles this season.
Here are the schedule dates that have been reported so far:
Week 1: vs. New England Patriots, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.
Last season, the Dolphins opened at the Patriots and had their finale at home against New England, sweeping both matchups. They open again with the Patriots for a third consecutive year, but this time at Hard Rock Stadium. Tua Tagovailoa is 2-0 against his former backup quarterback at Alabama in Mac Jones and 3-0 overall against coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots in his career after also winning a rookie-year matchup in 2020. This matchup no longer has the added intrigue of Brian Flores going against the team he spent a decade and a half with under Belichick, but now longtime Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker is in New England.
Here’s a breakdown of the other 2022 opponents:
vs./at Buffalo Bills
The Dolphins look to snap a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry series against the team that is the new king in the AFC East. Last season’s sweep at the hands of Buffalo started and ended Miami’s in-season seven-game losing streak that got the Dolphins to 1-7 before turning things around for wins in eight of their last nine. Miami has had Week 2 home openers against Buffalo each of the past two seasons, but the possibility for three straight can be eliminated, with a Bills-Titans Monday Night Football matchup already announced for that week. The Dolphins’ last win in Buffalo came on Christmas Eve in 2016, a key victory in Miami’s last playoff berth.
at New England Patriots
The road game against the Patriots will take place at a different time of year than it did the past two seasons when Miami opened in Foxborough as it has been reported the Dolphins host New England in Week 1.
vs./at New York Jets
Another divisional foe the Dolphins swept in 2021, Miami has won four straight and eight of their last nine in the series against the Jets. This matchup is another showdown of young quarterbacks with New York’s Zach Wilson heading into his second season. The Jets rebuilt through the draft, much like the Dolphins did the year prior, with four of the first 36 picks in late April.
vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores, now a defensive assistant on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s staff, makes his return to Miami. Flores was head coach of the Dolphins for three seasons, going 24-25. He filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and a number of teams claiming racist hiring and retention practices against Black coaches. He alleged in the lawsuit that Dolphins owner Steve Ross offered him financial incentive to tank and lose games in 2019, which Ross has vehemently denied.
vs. Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson is coming to Miami – but not like that. The former Houston Texans quarterback was linked to the Dolphins in trade talks for much of the 2021 offseason and regular season up until last November’s trade deadline, but the Browns ultimately made the move for him this offseason. Watson could also still face suspension stemming from the 22 civil lawsuits against him with claims ranging from sexual misconduct to sexual assault that he will not be charged criminally for.
at Cincinnati Bengals
The Dolphins visit the defending AFC champs and quarterback Joe Burrow, who has reached immense heights after going to the Bengals with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. It’s Miami’s first trip to Cincinnati since a 2018 loss.
at Baltimore Ravens
The Dolphins visit Baltimore after hosting the Ravens last season for one of the more surprising wins of the 2021 season. Miami had a 22-10 Thursday night win at Hard Rock Stadium as a double-digit underdog. Extra local interest always comes from this matchup with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson a Pompano Beach native and Boynton Beach High grad.
vs. Houston Texans
Miami has historically struggled against the NFL’s last expansion franchise since it entered the league in 2002. The Dolphins lost their first seven meetings with the Texans but have since won two of three. They host Houston for a second consecutive season after last year’s 17-9 Nov. 7 win snapped a seven-game losing streak and began a seven-game winning streak.
at Los Angeles Chargers
The second meeting between quarterbacks from the 2020 draft in Tua Tagovailoa, whom the Dolphins selected with the No. 5 pick, and Justin Herbert, whom the Dolphins passed on to draft Tagovailoa. Herbert has the 2020 Rookie of the Year and a 2021 Pro Bowl selection to his advantage, but Tagovailoa won their first meeting, at home in their rookie seasons.
vs. Green Bay Packers
Last year’s top seed in the NFC visits Hard Rock Stadium in 2022. The Dolphins won their first eight all-time meetings against the Packers, but Green Bay has since taken five of the last seven. Could this visit for Aaron Rodgers, who is 2-1 in his career against Miami, potentially play a role in a 2023 offseason decision for him should Tua Tagovailoa struggle this year, leading the Dolphins to shop for a new quarterback?
vs. Minnesota Vikings
The last time the Dolphins won the Super Bowl, it came against the Vikings, to conclude the 1973 season. That’s ancient history at this point, but so is Minnesota’s last win in Miami, which came in 1976 as the Dolphins have won their last four meetings at home. Former Miami Central High and Florida State standout Dalvin Cook is set for a homecoming here.
at Chicago Bears
Whenever these two teams play, one has to think back to the historic 1985 Monday Night Football matchup where the Dolphins handed that year’s Super Bowl-winning Bears their one loss, defending the franchise’s 1972 reign of having the lone undefeated team. The Dolphins visited the Bears for joint practices and a preseason game in Chicago last August, but the two teams now have new head coaches.
at Detroit Lions
It’s potentially the first Thanksgiving Day game for the Dolphins since a 2011 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and they would face the Lions on Turkey Day for the first time since 2006, when quarterback Joey Harrington returned to Detroit to help Miami to a 27-10 win. The Dolphins are 5-2 all time on Thanksgiving and 7-5 overall against the Lions.
at San Francisco 49ers
New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel returns to San Francisco to face the franchise he called home for the past five seasons under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, with the last coming as offensive coordinator. This is the extra matchup under the NFL’s 17-game schedule instituted last season, like the home game against the New York Giants was last season.