The Miami Dolphins are getting their first Sunday Night Football Game since 2017 as one of two prime-time games on the 2022 schedule, plus Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to visit for Christmas for another nationally televised game, as their regular-season slate was announced on Thursday night.
Ex-coach Brian Flores’ return to Miami as a defensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 23 will be the nightcap of Week 7′s NFL action. Three weeks prior, the Dolphins’ trip to Cincinnati will be Week 4′s Thursday night affair on Sept. 29.
While there was speculation the Dolphins’ road game with the Detroit Lions could be a Thanksgiving game, they avoided that, but Miami will host the Packers on Christmas Day, when Rodgers plays in Miami for the first time in eight years.
The Dolphins will kick off the regular season against the New England Patriots on Sept. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium, and they also finish the season at home within the division, hosting the Jets.
Miami will not leave the country in 2022 after getting an international series game in London against the Jaguars last season, but the Dolphins, with two trips to the West Coast and several more up north, are slated to travel the fourth-most miles in the league. They could stay out west for the back-to-back December games at the San Francisco 49ers, which pits new coach Mike McDaniel against his former team, and the Los Angeles Chargers.
After getting annual trips to New England and Buffalo out of the way by Halloween last season, those two potentially frigid road games will take place in the final four weeks.
The Dolphins’ three preseason games were also announced, and Miami will not leave the state of Florida with the only road game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and home games to follow against the Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.
Here’s a breakdown of the Dolphins’ 2022 regular-season schedule:
Week 1: vs. New England Patriots, Sept. 11, 1 p.m., CBS
Last season, the Dolphins opened at the Patriots and had their finale at home against New England, sweeping both matchups. They open again with the Patriots for a third consecutive year, but this time at Hard Rock Stadium. Tua Tagovailoa is 2-0 against his former backup quarterback at Alabama in Mac Jones and 3-0 overall against coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots in his career after also winning a rookie-year matchup in 2020. This matchup no longer has the added intrigue of Brian Flores going against the team he spent a decade and a half with under Belichick, but now longtime Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker is in New England.
Week 2: at Baltimore Ravens, Sept. 18, 1 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins, who have never won at M&T Bank Stadium, visit Baltimore to begin the road slate after hosting the Ravens last season for one of the more surprising wins of the 2021 season. Miami had a 22-10 Thursday night win at Hard Rock Stadium as a double-digit underdog. Extra local interest always comes from this matchup with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson a Pompano Beach native and Boynton Beach High grad.
Week 3: vs. Buffalo Bills, Sept. 25, 1 p.m., CBS
The Dolphins look to snap a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry series against the team that is the new king in the AFC East. Last season’s sweep at the hands of Buffalo started and ended Miami’s in-season seven-game losing streak that got the Dolphins to 1-7 before turning things around for wins in eight of their last nine.
Week 4: at Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
The Dolphins get their first of two prime-time kickoffs, visiting the defending AFC champs and quarterback Joe Burrow, who has reached immense heights after going to the Bengals with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. The Thursday nighter marks Miami’s first trip to Cincinnati since a 2018 loss.
Week 5: at New York Jets, Oct. 9, 1 p.m., CBS
Like the Patriots, another divisional foe the Dolphins swept in 2021. Miami has won four straight and eight of their last nine in the series against the Jets. This matchup is another showdown of young quarterbacks with New York’s Zach Wilson heading into his second season. The Jets rebuilt through the draft, much like the Dolphins did the year prior, with four of the first 36 picks in late April.
Week 6: vs. Minnesota Vikings, Oct. 16, 1 p.m., FOX
The last time the Dolphins won the Super Bowl, it came against the Vikings, to conclude the 1973 season. That’s ancient history at this point, but so is Minnesota’s last win in Miami, which came in 1976 as the Dolphins have won their last four meetings at home. Former Miami Central High and Florida State standout Dalvin Cook is set for a homecoming here.
Week 7: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Oct. 23, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores, now a defensive assistant on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s staff, makes his return to Miami for a Sunday Night Football storyline. Flores was head coach of the Dolphins for three seasons, going 24-25. He filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and a number of teams claiming racist hiring and retention practices against Black coaches. He alleged in the lawsuit that Dolphins owner Steve Ross offered him financial incentive to tank and lose games in 2019, which Ross has vehemently denied.
Week 8: at Detroit Lions, Oct. 30, 1 p.m., CBS
It was believed this could be a Thanksgiving Day game, but the Dolphins dodged a Turkey Day trip to Detroit instead got one on the eve of Halloween. Miami last had a Thanksgiving game in 2011, a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Dolphins are 7-5 all time against the Lions.
Week 9: at Chicago Bears, Nov. 6, 1 p.m., CBS
Whenever these two teams play, one has to think back to the historic 1985 Monday Night Football matchup where the Dolphins handed that year’s Super Bowl-winning Bears their one loss, defending the franchise’s 1972 reign of having the lone undefeated team. The Dolphins visited the Bears for joint practices and a preseason game in Chicago last August, but the two teams now have new head coaches.
Week 10: vs. Cleveland Browns, Nov. 13, 1 p.m., CBS
Deshaun Watson is coming to Miami — but not like that. The former Houston Texans quarterback was linked to the Dolphins in trade talks for much of the 2021 offseason and regular season up until last November’s trade deadline, but the Browns ultimately made the move for him this offseason. Watson could also still face suspension stemming from the 22 civil lawsuits against him with claims ranging from sexual misconduct to sexual assault that he will not be charged criminally for.
Week 11: BYE WEEK, Nov. 20
Week 12: vs. Houston Texans, Nov. 27, 1 p.m., CBS
Miami has historically struggled against the NFL’s last expansion franchise since it entered the league in 2002. The Dolphins lost their first seven meetings with the Texans but have since won two of three. They host Houston for a second consecutive season after last year’s 17-9 Nov. 7 win snapped a seven-game losing streak and began a seven-game winning streak.
Week 13: at San Francisco 49ers, Dec. 4, 4:05 p.m., FOX
New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel returns to San Francisco to face the franchise he called home for the past five seasons under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, with the last coming as offensive coordinator. This is the extra matchup under the NFL’s 17-game schedule instituted last season, like the home game against the New York Giants was last season.
Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers, Dec. 11, 4:05 p.m., CBS
The second meeting between quarterbacks from the 2020 draft in Tua Tagovailoa, whom the Dolphins selected with the No. 5 pick, and Justin Herbert, whom the Dolphins passed on to draft Tagovailoa. Herbert has the 2020 Rookie of the Year and a 2021 Pro Bowl selection to his advantage, but Tagovailoa won their first meeting, at home in their rookie seasons. Miami gets its two West Coast trips on back-to-back Sundays.
Week 15: at Buffalo Bills, Dec. 17 or 18, Time/TV TBD
The Dolphins’ last win in Buffalo came on Christmas Eve in 2016, a key victory in Miami’s last playoff berth.
Week 16: vs. Green Bay Packers, Dec. 25, 1 p.m., FOX
Last year’s top seed in the NFC visits Hard Rock Stadium on Christmas in 2022. The Dolphins won their first eight all-time meetings against the Packers, but Green Bay has since taken five of the last seven. Could this visit for Aaron Rodgers, who is 2-1 in his career against Miami, potentially play a role in a 2023 offseason decision for him should Tua Tagovailoa struggle this year, leading the Dolphins to shop for a new quarterback?
Week 17: at New England Patriots, Jan. 1, 1 p.m., CBS
After bookend games against the Patriots in the 2021 season, the Dolphins’ penultimate game this season will be at New England after opening at home with the division rival. Last year, the Dolphins got just their second win in Foxborough since 2008 on that trip. They could be in for a cold one on New Year’s Day.
Week 18: vs. New York Jets, Jan. 7 or 8, Time/TV TBD
This time, the Dolphins wrap up the season with a home finale against the Jets. Could they make this one meaningful for playoff implications after, last season, getting eliminated in Week 17?
The Dolphins’ preseason schedule:
Week 1: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sat., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m., CBS
Week 2: vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sat., Aug. 20, 7 p.m., CBS
Week 3: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sat., Aug. 27, 7 p.m., CBS