1st Quarter (Games 1-4):
The Miami Dolphins 2011 schedule starts off with plenty of excitement on Monday Night Football against division rivals the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium! The building should be buzzing facing off against a division rival, and it should be a good indication of where this team is come opening night. The Houston Texans will travel to Miami in week two, and it will be a great test for the defense trying to shut down one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL in Andre Johnson. Miami is 0-5 all time against Houston, but all of these games have been decided by a touchdown or less! New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will face his old team in week three as the Cleveland Browns visit Miami, and the Dolphins will try and avenge last year’s disappointing home loss. The Dolphins will travel out west for a 4:15 start to face Phillip Rivers and the explosive San Diego Chargers offense in week four, and hopefully will go into their bye week with plenty of momentum.
2nd Quarter (Games 5-8):
The Dolphins will travel to the Big Apple twice in a three week stretch when they face division rival New York Jets on Monday Night Football, their second appearance of the season in prime time! The last time Miami traveled to NYC twice in the same season was 2003, and the Dolphins beat the Jets 21-10 in September of ’03 and defeated the New York Giants 23-10 in October of that year! Brandon Marshall will face-off for the first time against his old team as the Denver Broncos travel to Miami on October 23rd for a 1:00 kick-off. It will be a great chance to see what New Head Coach John Fox and Director of Football Operations, and Hall of Famer John Elway have assembled in the Mile High City! Back to back road games for the Dolphins are up next as Miami face the “G” men in New York, and then travel to Kansas City to square off against the Chiefs. Hopefully the weather will cooperate in Kansas City because the last time Miami visited KC, temperatures didn’t get above 10 degrees!
3rd Quarter (Games 9-12):
Head Coach Mike Shanahan will bring the Washington Redskins to Sun Life Stadium on Nov 13th, and the big question will be who his starting quarterback will be? It will also be the first time the Redskins will travel South since 2003, and the first time Brandon Marshall will face his old coach in Shanahan. The Dolphins will be back in the division the following week as the Buffalo Bills come to Miami to renew an old AFC East rivalry. A short week will follow when Miami gets it’s third national TV game of the season on Thanksgiving. Miami will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys at 4:15pm, and it will be the first regular season game that Head Coach Tony Sparano and General Manager Jeff Ireland will face their former team. Miami has enjoyed some success on Thanksgiving beating Dallas in 2003 (40-21) and winning in dramatic fashion in 1993 (16-14) in what’s known in Miami as the “Snow Game”. The Dolphins will get some well deserved rest before returning home to face the Oakland Raiders on Dec 4th. Last season the Dolphins played one of their most complete games of the season against Oakland winning on the road!
4th Quarter (Games 13-16):
Next up is Philadelphia at home and the Eagles haven’t played in Sun Life Stadium since 2003! It will be a great challenge for Miami’s Defense in trying to contain quarterback Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and the rest of that high powered offense. The final three games of the season could decide if the Dolphins reach the playoffs! A return trip to Buffalo is up first for the Dolphins, and then it’s off to face Tom Brady and the Patriots! The season finale couldn’t set up any better for the fans of Miami! The New York Jets will close out the season in Miami on January 1st and the stadium should be rockin! Tony Sparano is 4-2 vs. the Jets since taking over as head coach, and let’s hope that a Miami victory will lift his record to 6-2 all-time!
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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