Dolphins get Thursday night game vs. Bills. And NFL ready to compete with college playoff

The Dolphins and Bills, who met in the final game of the 2023 NFL regular season, will play the first game of Amazon’s Thursday night package in the 2024 season.

The teams will meet on Thursday night, Sept. 12, at Hard Rock Stadium, Amazon announced on Tuesday.

The game -- which will kick off Week 2 of the NFL schedule -- will be televised on undetermined free TV stations only in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Buffalo markets. The remainder of the country can get the the game only on Amazon.

It won’t be the first Thursday night game of the season. NBC will carry the opening Thursday night game, Baltimore at Kansas City, on Sept. 5. That’s also the first NFL game of the season.

The Bills have won four consecutive games against the Dolphins, including both games last season and a wild-card playoff game in January 2023 in Buffalo.

The NFL is announcing its full schedule at 8 p.m. Wednesday, but several games are being revealed before that. Dolphins-Bills is the first Dolphins’ date to be disclosed.

Here’s what else has been announced:

▪ The Packers-Eagles game in Brazil on Friday night, Sept. 6 will be seen on the NBC stations in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Philadelphia and in the remaining 95 percent of the country only on the streaming service Peacock.

▪ Dallas will play at Cleveland before a full national audience at 4:25 p.m. Sunday in Week 1 game on Fox. That will mark the debut of Tom Brady as Fox’s new lead game analyst, alongside Kevin Burkhardt.

Aaron Rodgers, who was injured very early in his Jets debut on a Monday night against Buffalo last season, will begin this season also on a Monday night, at San Francisco, on ESPN, to complete the Week 1 schedule.

▪ CBS announced it’s getting Bengals-at-Chiefs in the 4:25 p.m. window on Week 2.

▪ Amazon Prime will get a wild card playoff game, the one that Peacock had last season, as well as Thursday games and another Black Friday game.


The NFL decided a few years ago that it wouldn’t allow the NBA to go unchallenged on Christmas.

And the NFL essentially announced this week that it’s not going to permit the new College Football Playoff to go unchallenged either.

The league awarded a regular season game to NBC on Saturday, Dec. 21. That’s the same day that ESPN plans to air three College Football playoff games.

The NFL has typically steered away from challenging college football, aside from Thursday night games. But the league typically places some of its Saturday inventory on NFL Network and streaming services, and the CFP wasn’t going to deter that plan.

NBC received a mid-December Saturday game last year, as well.

A second NFL game also will be played on Dec. 21, but the network for that game wasn’t immediately announced. One report said Fox is expected to get that game.

The four teams that play on Saturday, Dec. 21 also will play on Wednesday, Dec. 25. Those teams have not been announced. Netflix and Amazon are among those competing for rights to two Christmas games.

▪ Former Patriots coach Bill Belichick will appear early in every “ManningCast” presentation of Monday Night Football games this season.

Peyton and Eli Manning offer an alternate MNF presentation of about half the games and typically book three or four guests each week. Belichick will be one of them.

Belichick has accepted one other TV role this season: as a regular weekly guest on “The Pat McAfee Show” on ESPN.


Dolphins radio analyst and WQAM morning host Joe Rose is combining with Dolphins preseason TV analyst Kim Bokamper to launch a new podcast, “Out to Pasture.”

Bokamper said it’s for an “older audience,” though younger listeners might enjoy it too.

“Our guests will all be over 50,” Bokamper said. “Our premise is we’re still 25 in the mind, but our bodies feel like we’re 85.”

Bokamper and Rose plan to book a wide range of guests, from former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann to comedians to military men. Former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, now an analyst for TNT, was a guest last week.

“We’re going to keep it light,” Bokamper said. “We’re trying not to make it South Florida or sports-centric.”

Here’s a link to their page on X (formerly Twitter).

▪ Fanatics is partnering with WQAM afternoon co-host Channing Crowder, as well as ESPN’s Ryan Clark and Fred Taylor in a deal for their Pivot podcast.