Eye-opening visual of Dolphins’ 2021 implied strength of schedule

·2 min read

When the NFL released the 2021 schedule for each of the 32 franchises across the league, one of the first big takeaways of the Dolphins’ individual schedule was just how difficult of a start the team had. Back to back AFC East games against the Patriots and Bills to open the year, followed by a west coast trip to Las Vegas before coming home to face the Indianapolis Colts and then the defending Super Bowl champions in Tampa Bay?

Sheesh.

The Dolphins’ objective this season as it pertains to that early slate is to find a way to start fast. At least claim a win between the two AFC East games, go take care of business in Las Vegas, as the team did last year and then try to nail down either of the next two. That would put the team at 3-2 after their most brutal stretch of the season and have the team well aligned for more success.

The visualization of the Dolphins’ “implied” strength of schedule, based on expected win totals for each team, paints a very enticing picture for the Dolphins:

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Matchups against Buffalo, New England, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay and Baltimore stand out on the Dolphins’ schedule — and only two of those total seven games on the schedule come after Week 8:

  • Week 10 versus Baltimore on Thursday Night Football

  • Week 18 versus New England

Both games are at home, too. So consider the gauntlet thrown for the Dolphins: find a way to start fast this upcoming season. Because if the rest of the schedule goes according to plan based on perceived win totals, Miami will be hot once again to close the season. They just can’t afford to dig themselves a hole the size of the 1-3 start they dug themselves in 2020.