2021 NFL schedule leaks and rumors: Tracking Dolphins news on schedule release day

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The Phinsider 12 May, 2021 - 07:14am 21 views

When does NFL release 2021 schedule?

The NFL announced that the 2021 schedule will be released Wednesday, May 12, at 8 p.m. ET. Last month, the league added a 17th regular-season game beginning this year, the first expansion of the schedule since it increased from 14 to 16 games in 1978. Giants.com2021 NFL schedule to be released tonight

What might the 2021 schedule look like for the Patriots? Here’s a guess.

Boston.com 12 May, 2021 - 08:00am

©2021 Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC

The NFL’s 2021 schedule will be released Wednesday. How will it look? Armed with a predetermined list of opponents, I decided to take a stab at predicting how the coming year will look for the Patriots.

I used three different measuring sticks in coming up with the mock schedule for New England:

• History. I leaned on some of the tendencies the schedule-makers have displayed over the last decade-plus to craft what (hopefully) appears to be a reasonable slate.

• TV demands. Most of the compelling regular-season games are usually shifted to November for sweeps. That’s when many of the big-ticket games are going to be played, so that’s when the majority of bigger games will be grouped. (If I swing and miss on this entire thing, the one prediction I feel pretty good about is the fact that Tom Brady’s return to Gillette will be sometime in November.)

• Little idiosyncrasies we’ve noticed over the years — minimizing short weeks, lengthy stretches on the road or away from home, etc.

Sun., Sept, 12 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: There’s some talk the Bills will start their season against the Bucs in Tampa on opening night. If not, I like the idea of the Patriots beginning the season in Buffalo. After all, history favors a Bills-Patriots opener: New England has begun its season with the Bills four times since 2003, the most of any opponent. (Regardless of what happens in Week One, I feel strongly we’ll see a New England-Buffalo game within the first two weeks of the season.)

Sun., Sept. 19 vs. Jacksonville, 1 p.m.: The Patriots and Jaguars have played eight regular-season games in their history, and three of them have been in September, including the last two times they’ve met. Even with the idea of Trevor Lawrence making his first start against Bill Belichick, if there’s a game on this schedule that screams September, this one is it.

Sun., Sept. 26 at Houston, 1 p.m.: This also feels like an early season game, even with Nick Caserio at the controls in Houston. The Texans, who had four wins last season, are one of five teams on the Patriots’ 2021 schedule that had five or less wins in 2020, a group that includes Jacksonville (one win), the New York Jets (two), Atlanta (four) and Carolina (five).

Sun., Oct. 3 vs. Miami, 1 p.m.: The Patriots and Dolphins almost always meet in the first six weeks of the season and the last few weeks of the season. An October contest in Foxborough while the region keeps one eye on the Patriots and another on a possible Red Sox playoff game? I’m in.

Sun., Oct. 10 at Carolina, 4 p.m.: I put this one relatively early in the season because it affords the networks the potentially juicy storyline of Cam Newton facing his old team. Why? Depending on how he plays to start the season, if they push it to November or December, maybe Newton isn’t under center any more for New England.

Sun., Oct. 17 at Indy, 1 p.m.: Patriots-Colts used to be a guaranteed, prime-time showdown, a good vs. evil blood feud guaranteed to get TV execs salivating. A slam-dunk for November. Now, a Carson Wentz-Newton contest makes it a little less compelling.

Mon., Oct. 25 vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.: Two things stand out: One, the Cowboys still move the needle nationally, which makes this an attractive Monday night possibility. And two, three of the last four times the Patriots have met Dallas, it’s been in mid- to late-October. Good enough for me.

Sun., Oct. 31 vs. Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Five of the last 10 times these two teams have played, it’s been in October. While this is approaching November-worthy status — it’s one of seven games this year for the Patriots against a team that made the playoffs the year before — this one still has a late-October feel.

Sun., Nov. 7 vs. Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.: The biggest regular-season game of the year is the best way to kick off November sweeps. The networks are going to be wrestling over this one, but my guess is it gets the Sunday Night Football treatment.

Sun., Nov. 14 BYE: I know it’s wishful thinking to get a bye nine weeks into the season. Worth noting that New England has averaged a Week 8 bye the last 10 years.

Thu., Nov. 18 at NY Jets, 8 p.m.: Doesn’t necessarily have the juice of some of these other games, but New England vs. New York can still get people excited. (Last year’s contest at MetLife came down to a Nick Folk walk-off on “Monday Night Football.”)

Sun., Nov. 28 vs. New Orleans, 4 p.m.: This doesn’t offer the quarterback matchup of years past, but a competitive AFC-NFC crossover event like this one — which could put a nice capper on Thanksgiving weekend — is enough to give it a late start during sweeps.

Sun., Dec. 5 vs. Buffalo, 1 p.m.: If the Bills are able to get out of the gate quickly, and if the Patriots’ offseason moves have paid off to the tune of, let’s say an 8-3 record by this point, this one has a chance to be flexed into prime time. (For the record, the Bills — who finished 13-3 last year — had the most wins in 2020 of any team New England will face this coming season.)

Sun., Dec. 12 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.: This feels a little too interesting to schedule for September or October, but not good enough for November, so we’ll give it a nice spot here near the start of what could be the stretch drive for the Patriots. I know it will have been a few years since Super Bowl LI, but what’s the over/under on 28-3 references for the broadcast crew in this one?

Sun., Dec. 19 vs. Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Tempted to move this one to November, just because of the Belichick vs. Mike Vrabel matchup, but it feels like a good mid-December tune-up that should provide us all with an opportunity to see just how well the Patriots fare when faced with what could be a stout test against a worthy AFC foe.

Sun., Dec. 26 at LA Chargers, 4 p.m.: A December trip to Southern California is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Sun., Jan. 2 at Miami, 1 p.m.: Late season game in South Florida? What could go wrong? Ho ho ho. Regardless of the circumstances, a December-January game between the Patriots and Dolphins in Miami is always interesting.

Sun., Jan. 9 vs. NY Jets, 1 p.m.: The Patriots have closed with the Jets three of the last four years. I’ll bet the NFL will stick with that matchup again.

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Dolphins schedule 2021: Dates & times for all 17 games, strength of schedule, final record prediction

Sporting News 12 May, 2021 - 08:00am

That didn't ultimately come to fruition. In fact, the team gave up 56 points in what was, arguably, their worst game of the season and what was, definitely, Tua Tagovailoa's worst game. Still, the fact that Miami was playing for a postseason berth just a year after having a top-five pick and two years after firing Adam Gase is a big achievement.

Now, Flores will look to take the Dolphins to the next level and get them back to the postseason. Unlike their other highly-rated AFC East counterparts, the Dolphins' schedule doesn't look too tough on paper. Matchups with Lamar Jackson, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence could test the defense, but the Dolphins are already strong on that side of the ball. It's more about whether their offense can live up to the expectations; they're finally not the loveable, punchy underdogs anymore.

Here is a complete breakdown of the Dolphins’ 2021 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 17 games.

The Dolphins' schedule will be announced as part of the NFL's schedule release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. These are the teams that they are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.

The Dolphins got off to a 1-3 start last season in Flores' second year in charge, but were able to post double digit wins thanks in part to a five-game winning streak that spanned Weeks 5-10. During that stretch, the Dolphins knocked off the reigning Super Bowl champion 49ers, the playoff-bound Rams, and two dynamic, young QBs in Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert.

The Dolphins should be better during the 2021 NFL season, too. The Dolphins' defense is strong, especially in the secondary, so that will give them a chance to compete for the AFC East title. They've also added a lot of talent to their offense in receiver Will Fuller and draft picks Jaylen Waddle (WR) and Liam Eichenberg (OT).

Plus, Tua Tagovailoa will be another year removed from a catastrophic hip injury that he suffered in college, so he may be able to do more on the field as a result. He'll need to make the leap in order for the Dolphins to reach their full potential, but Flores and Co. showed faith in the No. 5 overall pick in the '20 NFL Draft.

All told, the Dolphins don't have a very tough-looking schedule on paper, so they should have a chance to make some noise barring an unexpected rise from some of the middling teams on their schedule.

Of the four AFC East teams, the Dolphins have the easiest schedule at a mark of 0.471 this year. That ties them for the fifth-easiest schedule with the Broncos based on last year's win/loss records for teams.

That's not to say that the Dolphins don't have some tough opponents on the docket, but considering that they have five games against the teams that finished bottom-four in the NFL last season, that should buoy them and give them a fairly high floor. Maybe one of them, like the Falcons, will prove to be a tougher test than expected, but no matter how you look at it, this schedule looks solid for the Dolphins.  

Toughest Test: The Dolphins will be taking on the Buccaneers and Saints on the road, two good teams with solid home-field advantages. Miami's defense should give them a chance in those games, but they do represent the toughest matchups on the slate.

The other tough game to watch will be the one vs. the Ravens. Baltimore thrashed Miami a couple of years ago early in the season, and while the Dolphins' defense is much better than it was then, it's never easy to contain Lamar Jackson. That may be the only home game that gives them significant trouble, though their matchup with the Bills will need to be watched as well. That said, after Tagovailoa's late-season debacle against Buffalo last year, the Dolphins will surely be ready to deal out some revenge.

Biggest Breaks: This schedule as a whole looks pretty nice for the Dolphins. The Jaguars, Jets, Texans and Falcons all finished with bottom-four records last season, so the Dolphins could be ready to take advantage of those games. Yes, the Jaguars and Jets have new quarterbacks, but what about their defenses? The same can be asked about the Falcons.

As for the Texans, will they be a daunting opponent if they don't have Deshaun Watson? Probably not. They may not even be that good with him, at the moment, because of how unsettled every position on their roster currently is. 

Bottom Line: It's incredible that the Dolphins are still rebuilding, in some sense, as they are well ahead of schedule for where they're supposed to be. Flores and Chris Grier have done an excellent job shaping this roster into a solid one, and their defense looks particularly good. So do the receivers and tight end weapons they've surrounded Tagovailoa with.

If the Dolphins had a tough schedule, they may only be a .500 team solely because Tagovailoa is still growing as a QB, and the team still has some needs at the running back spot and in the front seven. But with a good-looking schedule ahead of them, the 'Phins can take advantage and push for a wild-card spot once again.

Record Prediction: 11-6

Deja Vu: Dolphins to Open 2021 at New England

DolphinMaven 12 May, 2021 - 07:19am

And for the Miami Dolphins, it's the same opener as 2020.

Yep, the Miami Dolphins again will be opening their season at Gillette Stadium against the AFC East rival New England Patriots.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 4:25 p.m. as one of two doubleheader games, though we'd suspect it's the other matchup that will be shown to most of the country because that game will be a playoff rematch between the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.

We predicted Tuesday the NFL kickoff game would have either Dallas or Buffalo facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, and it ended up being the Cowboys selected as the opponents.

The Dolphins obviously will be looking for a different result in their opener after the disappointing 21-11 loss at Gillette Stadium last September.

In that game, the Dolphins couldn't get much going on offense — and it didn't help that wide receiver DeVante Parker didn't play in the second half — and couldn't stop the running of quarterback Cam Newton.

The Dolphins are 3-5 in season opener against the Patriots, including a 1-4 record at New England.

Here's the entire Week 1 schedule:

Dallas at Tampa Bay, 8:20 p.m.

San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m.

L.A. Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m.

Denver at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m.

Green Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.

Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.

Chicago at L.A. Rams, 8:20 p.m.

Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:20 p.m.

Dolphins To Kick Off 2021 Season Against Patriots

CBS Miami 12 May, 2021 - 03:29am

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins will kick off the 2021 season against the New England Patriots.

Miami will take on the Pats at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 12th at 4:25 p.m.

You can watch the game only on CBS4.

Some of the other notable week 1 matchups include the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to Buffalo to take on the Bills and the Browns heading to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs.

The NFL revealed the week 1 slate of games set for CBS on CBS This Morning.

The entire NFL schedule will be released Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

Patriots Host Miami Dolphins In Week 1 Of 2021 NFL Season

CBS Boston 12 May, 2021 - 02:55am

BOSTON (CBS) — We don’t know the full 2021 Patriots schedule just yet, but we know how New England will start the season. The Patriots will kick off the 2021 season at home, hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 12.

The Week 1 tilt is set for a 4:25 kickoff and will air on WBZ-TV.

New England also opened the 2020 season against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium, pulling off a 21-11 victory in Cam Newton’s Patriots debut. The Dolphins got some revenge in Week 15, handing the Patriots a 22-12 loss down in Miami to eliminate New England from the postseason.

This will mark the fourth time over the last decade that the Patriots and the Dolphins square off in Week 1. Ahead of last season, the two previous Week 1 matchups took place in Miami — 2011 and 2014 — with the teams splitting those two showdowns.

The full 2021 NFL schedule will be released Wednesday evening.

NFL schedule 2021 NFL schedule

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