Dolphins 2024 Schedule Takeaways

Five prime-time games, tough ending stretch among the highlights
Raheem Mostert
Raheem Mostert / Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Miami Dolphins' 2024 regular season schedule became official Wednesday night, and what stood out immediately was the large number of prime-time games and a tough ending stretch.

Here are our quick takeaways:

Dolphins Are Prime-Time Players

The Dolphins getting five prime-time games on the initial schedule (two on Monday, two on Thursday and one on Sunday) is a sign of their popularity, the exciting brand of football and the expectation they'll be good again in 2024. It's also worth that four of those games are locked and only the game at Cleveland on Sunday, Dec. 29 could end up getting moved to the daytime if it becomes an unattractive matchup or without many playoff implications in Week 17. The last time the Dolphins ended up with five prime-time games was 2004 when the schedule was made before Ricky Williams abruptly left the team and ended up sitting out the entire season. The Dolphins were among the NFL leaders in initial prime-time games, though they trailed the New York Jets with their (crazy) six appearances.

Dolphins Home-Field Advantage Lessened

Sure, the Dolphins open with three of their first four games at home, but they won't get the benefit of their normal (and sizable) home-field advantage because the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills and the Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans will be night games where, yes, it will be hot and humid, but the sun will be down and won't affect the visitor sideline more than the home sideline, as is the case in the daytime. And the advantage in the home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, while still present, won't be as significant because Jacksonville is used to hot September games. After those first four games, the Dolphins won't be back at Hard Rock Stadium until Oct. 27 when the weather advantage isn't quite as significant and then the next home game will be Nov. 17 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Tough Ending Stretch for Miami

While three out of four at home to start the season is nice, closing with three out of four on the road most definitely isn't. And those three road games will be against 2023 playoff participants Houston and Cleveland, along with the unpredictable Jets, who could be really good if all of their older, injury-prone players stay healthy but also showed last year they could be really bad. Beyond that, the Dolphins's previous two games are no gimmies, either, with the Jets coming to Hard Rock Stadium in Week 14 after the Thanksgiving night game at Green Bay.

Cold weather watch

From a weather standpoint, this was not a favorable schedule for the Dolphins. In addition to the home-field factor mentioned earlier, the Dolphins face three late-season games in potentially difficult cold conditions, starting with that Thanksgiving night game at Green Bay (it was 14 degrees there during the evening of Nov. 28 last year). The other two, of course, are the games at Cleveland and MetLife Stadium. At the very least, the Dolphins avoided a cold-weather situation in Buffalo, considering that game will be played Nov. 3.

Early bye for Dolphins

With the schedule going over 18 weeks, having a bye in Week 6 certainly isn't the most ideal scenario, but that's what the Dolphins were given. It's going to be their earliest bye since 2019 when it came after only four games. The early bye means the Dolphins will play 12 consecutive weeks to close out the regular season. The Dolphins' bye last week was much more desirable and centrally located, as it came in Week 10 after the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Germany.

A new ending for Miami

The NFL began having only divisional games on the final weekend back in 2010, but this will mark the first time in the 15th year of this setup that the Dolphins will finish with a road game against the Jets. Based on the law of averages and the fact the Dolphins had played their final three finales at home, we had predicted several days back this very well could be the outcome for 2024, a season finale at MetLife Stadium and here we are. Of course, the challenge of that game could change greatly depending upon Aaron Rodgers' ability to stay healthy all season and recapture his MVP form of 2020 and 2021.

THE MIAMI DOLPHINS' 2024 SCHEDULE

All Times Eastern

*-Subject to flex scheduling

Week 1 — JACKSONVILLE, Sunday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m.

Week 2 — BUFFALO, Thursday, Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime)

Week 3 — at Seattle, Sunday, Sept. 22, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Week 4 — TENNESSEE, Monday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 5 — at New England, Sunday, Oct. 6, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 6 — Bye

Week 7 — at Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. (FOX)*

Week 8 — ARIZONA, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. (FOX)*

Week 9 — at Buffalo, Sunday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 10 — at L.A. Rams, Monday, Nov. 11, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 11 — LAS VEGAS, Sunday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 12 — NEW ENGLAND, Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 13 — at Green Bay, Thursday, November 28, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Week 14 — N.Y. JETS, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 15 — at Houston, Sunday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 16 — SAN FRANCISCO, Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)*

Week 17 — at Cleveland, Sunday, Dec. 29, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Week 18 — at N.Y. Jets, Sunday, Jan. 4 or 5, TBD


Published
Alain Poupart

ALAIN POUPART

Alain Poupart is the publisher/editor of All Dolphins and co-host of the All Dolphins Podcast. Alain has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989 for various publications and media outlets, including Dolphin Digest, The Associated Press, the Dolphins team website, and the Fan Nation Network (part of Sports Illustrated). In addition to being a credentialed member of the Miami Dolphins press corps, Alain has covered three Super Bowls (for NFL.com, Football News and the Montreal Gazette), the annual NFL draft, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL Scouting Combine. During his almost 40 years in journalism, which began at the now-defunct Miami News, Alain has covered practically every sport at one time or another, from tennis to golf, baseball, basketball and everything in between. The career also included time as a copy editor, including work on several books such as "Still Perfect," an inside look at the Miami Dolphins' 1972 perfect season. A native of Montreal, Canada, whose first language is French, Alain grew up a huge hockey fan but soon developed a love for all sports, including NFL football. He has lived in South Florida since the 1980s.