The Miami Dolphins will be looking to take the next step this season and become a playoff contender after suffering through a somewhat disappointing campaign a year ago. The Dolphins showed flashes of brilliance at times offensively with their Wildcat backfield of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams after QB Chad Pennington got hurt, but they struggled to figure out who they were as a team as the season wore on. When Brown also went down for the year with a foot injury, young QB Chad Henne stepped up and gave Miami fans a glimpse of his potential. Now with All-Pro WR Brandon Marshall in tow thanks to a trade with the Denver Broncos, Henne has the perfect weapon to take the team’s passing game to the next level. If the Dolphins can improve enough defensively – they ranked 26th in the NFL last season, giving up 24.4 points per game – Henne and the offense should be able to score enough points to make them a legitimate threat in the race for the AFC East division title.
Odds to win AFC East Division: +325
Odds to win the AFC Conference: 16/1
Miami Dolphins Odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 40/1
Regular Season Wins Total Line: 8.5
*all odds quoted from Bodog*
Following is a breakdown of this season’s schedule for the Dolphins:
Week 1 Sunday, September 12, 2010 @ Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Bills crushed the Dolphins 31-14 at home last season behind 246 passing yards from Ryan Fitzpatrick and 96 receiving yards from Terrell Owens.
Week 2 Sunday, September 19, 2010 @ Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: The Vikings will have 10 days to prepare for their home opener against the Dolphins following their season debut at New Orleans on Monday Night Football.
Week 3 Sunday, September 26, 2010 vs. New York Jets
Analysis:. Miami was the only team to beat the Jets twice last year even though both meetings were decided by a combined nine points.
Week 4 Monday, October 4, 2010 vs. New England Patriots
Analysis: The Dolphins play their second straight game on prime-time television and will need to contain Patriots QB Tom Brady, who averaged 342 passing yards in two meetings against them last year.
Week 5 — BYE WEEK —
Week 6 Sunday, October 17, 2010 @ Green Bay Packers
Analysis: The Packers will be coming off a road game at Washington and have division rival Minnesota on deck.
Week 7 Sunday, October 24, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Analysis: This could be the first game of the season for suspended Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger – and a difficult one at that.
Week 8 Sunday, October 31, 2010 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Analysis: The Dolphins continue a string of three straight games against the top teams in the AFC North, including two in a row on the road and starting at Cincinnati.
Week 9 Sunday, November 7, 2010 @ Baltimore Ravens
Analysis: Miami visits the Ravens off their bye week and before they hit the road for back-to-back road games at Atlanta and Carolina.
Week 10 Sunday, November 14, 2010 vs. Tennessee Titans
Analysis: The Dolphins begin a stretch of three home games in four weeks with none of those opponents finishing with a winning record last year.
Week 11 Thursday, November 18, 2010 vs. Chicago Bears
Analysis: Miami appears on prime-time TV for the last time this season while the Bears visit following a home game against NFC rival Minnesota.
Week 12 Sunday, November 28, 2010 @ Oakland Raiders
Analysis: The Raiders host the Dolphins in between tough road games at Pittsburgh and San Diego.
Week 13 Sunday, December 5, 2010 vs. Cleveland Browns
Analysis: The Browns play the first of three consecutive road games at Miami followed by trips to Buffalo and Cincinnati.
Week 14 Sunday, December 12, 2010 @ New York Jets
Analysis: The Jets will be playing on short rest following a divisional road game at New England on Monday Night Football and visit Pittsburgh the next week.
Week 15 Sunday, December 19, 2010 vs. Buffalo Bills
Analysis: Miami ran all over Buffalo at home last season, as Williams and Brown combined for 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a 38-10 rout for the team’s first win.
Week 16 Sunday, December 26, 2010 vs. Detroit Lions
Analysis: The Lions may decide to stay in Florida for the second of two straight games in the state after visiting Tampa Bay the week before.
Week 17 Sunday, January 2, 2011 @ New England Patriots
Analysis: This game could have playoff and division title implications in the AFC East.