The Miami Dolphins are off this weekend, leaving Dolphins fans salivating and awaiting the debut of Tua Tagovailoa in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams. All good things to those who wait, Dolphins fans! But as we near the midway point of the season, there are still plenty of items of interest for Dolphins fans to key on this weekend, even without the Dolphins themselves playing. What should you be rooting for this weekend while the Dolphins are off? We’re glad you asked.
Here are three big storylines relevant to the Miami Dolphins.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 19: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts with teammates Eric Fisher #72 and Mitchell Schwartz #71 after a fourth quarter touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
A Chiefs win
The Kansas City Chiefs are set to square off against the Denver Broncos this weekend in an AFC West clash that really doesn’t offer any impact to Miami — right? Well, not necessarily. As Miami looks to jostle and position themselves among the AFC’s would-be wild card contenders, betting distance between themselves and Denver is imported. A head to head win for Miami when these two teams clash will be important — but a game of distance between them now plus an eventual head to head tiebreaker puts Miami in the driver’s seat to finish ahead of the Broncos. Denver currently sits at 2-3 and with a loss would fall a full game behind Miami in the standings, completing step one of Miami’s path to better the Broncos.
October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) jogs off the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers’ strong rebound to continue
Miami left San Francisco with the 49ers left in a tangled mess as a football team. The team responded last week by defeating Miami’s next opponent, the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6 by a score of 24-16. The Dolphins would love to see the 49ers back in the win column once again, as it would drop their AFC East rivals the New England Patriots a full game behind Miami as well. Like Denver, Miami gets a head to head game later in the year. But unlike Denver, New England already has a win against Miami.
Every loss for New England counts on several fronts — for divisional leverage and attempting to preserve Don Shula’s all-time wins record over Belichick. Go 49ers!
Nov 4, 2018; Foxboro, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs for a short gain during the second quarter of their game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK
A Packers blowout
We’d mention the Bills losing to the Jets but…it’s the Jets. So instead we’ll focus our energy on the Houston Texans’ matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Houston lost a heartbreaker to Tennessee last week in overtime to fall to 1-5 on the season. The Texans appear destined for a rough finish — especially now that they’re catching the Packers fresh off a beatdown at the hands of Tom Brady in Week 6. That’s a bad formula for a bad team in Houston, but it’s also great news for the Dolphins.