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Dolphins Schedule: Counting Down the Five Most Intriguing Matchups

The Miami Dolphins have their share of really interesting matchups in 2022, including a Tua-Burrow battle and a reunion game against Pittsburgh

The Miami Dolphins' full schedule for the 2022 NFL season was released Thursday night at 8 p.m., and although it’s early, there are a couple of potentially important and interesting matchups that stick out on first viewing of the schedule.

Here is a countdown of the five most intriguing matchups for the 2022 Miami Dolphins.

No. 5: Thursday, Sept. 29 — at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m.

This is Miami’s first of two scheduled prime-time games this season, and it’s an opportunity for Miami to defeat the defending AFC champs.

Additionally, it will be the first matchup between Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, who were both top five picks in the 2020 NFL draft. Tagovailoa led the Dolphins to a 19-7 home victory against the Bengals in 2020, but Burrow missed the game due to an ACL injury.

Not only is it a prove-it game for the entire team, it’s also one for Tagovailoa, who has been overshadowed by Burrow.

No. 4: Sunday, Dec. 25 — Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m.

The Dolphins haven’t played in a Christmas Day game since 2006 against the division rival Jets, making this game quite the rare occasion.

Miami will be looking to contain back-to-back MVP winner Aaron Rodgers and the perennial playoff contender Green Bay Packers in what should be an important late-season game.

The Packers traded away star receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason, while the Dolphins added star receiver Tyreek Hill in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

A late-season win against an expected contender for the NFC championship could go a long way toward propelling Miami to a playoff berth.

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No. 3: Sunday, Dec. 4 — at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m.

This West Coast bout will pit new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel against his former team and long-time mentor, Kyle Shanahan, for the first time.

McDaniel and Shanahan are considered two of the brightest offensive minds in football, meaning this game could turn into a high-scoring chess match pretty quickly.

Besides the coaching storyline, this game could feature an opportunity for the Dolphins to see 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, who San Francisco acquired after trading two extra first-round picks to the Dolphins.

Additionally, this game comes at a pivotal point in Miami’s schedule. It’s the first of two straight games on the West Coast and the beginning of a three-game road trip.

No. 2: Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 17/18 — at Buffalo Bills, TBD

If Miami’s season goes as planned, this game could help decide the fate of the AFC East and/or greatly could improve Miami’s wild-card chances. Miami also will play the Bills in Week 3 at Hard Rock Stadium, which will be their first opportunity to snap a seven-game losing streak to Buffalo.

If Buffalo extends that streak to eight games in Week 3, this game will gain even more importance. Orchard Park hasn’t been kind to the Dolphins either as they’ve lost three straight games there.

The big on-field storyline will be whether Miami can figure out how to contain quarterback Josh Allen, who has thrown 21 touchdown passes and just five interceptions in his eight games against Miami.

Additionally, this game will be a cold-weather affair, which is a condition that has proved problematic for Miami in recent years.

No. 1: Sunday, Oct. 23 — Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

This game has everything. It’s Miami’s second, and last, scheduled primetime game of the season, and it will feature the return of former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

Flores now serves as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the Steelers and is suing the Dolphins and other NFL teams for racial discrimination.

This game will also feature the return of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who had two interceptions helping the Steelers to a 27-14 victory in their last matchup in 2019.