Miami Dolphins: Most 2021 opponents are set. Which games will you circle in red?

Hal Habib
Palm Beach Post
The Dolphins should get reacquainted with quarterback Ryan Tannehill when they visit Tennessee next season.

Matchups with the AFC East-champion Buffalo Bills and either the Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Ravens highlight the Dolphins’ 2021 home schedule.

Although times and dates are to be determined, we now know most of the teams the Dolphins will face next season.

Naturally, the schedule features divisional rivals Buffalo, New England and the New York Jets in a home-and-home series.

The 2021 Dolphins also will play host to Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Carolina and either Cleveland or Baltimore (depending on which team finishes second in the AFC North).

The road opponents include both Florida teams (Tampa Bay and Jacksonville) plus Tennessee, New Orleans and likely Las Vegas, if it finishes second in the AFC West.

One disclaimer: The Dolphins were expected to play in London this season, but the pandemic eliminated all international games. So it wouldn’t be surprising if one game, possibly a home game, is set for Europe.

Here’s a glimpse at what to expect:

Home opponents

Houston: Dolphins get to personally thank the Texans for the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade that will result in a high first-round pick for 2021. In one of the head-scratching rivalries for the Dolphins, the Texans lead the series 8-1, with the lone Miami win coming at home in 2015.

Indianapolis: Dolphins lead series 48-27, which includes games vs. Baltimore Colts. Indy’s 23-17 loss in Miami on Dec. 30, 2000, represents Miami’s most recent playoff win.

Atlanta: Last meeting was in 2017 in Atlanta. The Dolphins rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to win 20-17. Patriots fans were thinking they’d seen this movie before.

Carolina: Carolina? Yes, Dolfans, Carolina has a team. It just seems like Miami never plays the Panthers, because they don’t. These teams have met just six times, the fewest of any of Miami’s “rivalries.”

AFC North: Cleveland (10-4) is currently second but Baltimore (9-5) could still be in the picture. And, after Monday night's flop, there's even a chance Pittsburgh (11-3) could plummet far enough l into Miami's crosshairs. The Dolphins are 11-9 vs. the Browns. They’re 6-10 against the ex-Browns, aka the Ravens, losing the two most recent meetings by a combined 99-10. A matchup with Cleveland would mark the return of Jarvis Landry.

Road opponents

Jacksonville: The 2021 Dolphins will get a complete view of the state by visiting both intrastate rivals next season. Jacksonville leads the series 5-4, including two straight, and should be led by QB Trevor Lawrence, a sight at least good for a chuckle in South Florida at the Jets’ expense.

Tennessee: The Ryan Tannehill Bowl. Dolphins won 38-10 in most recent trip to the Music City.

New Orleans: Dolphins are 0-3 in most recent trips to the Superdome.

Tampa Bay: Having just polished off Tom Brady’s old team, the Dolphins will get a taste of his new team next season. Bucs lead series 6-5.

AFC West: Keep an eye on Saturday’s game at Las Vegas, because the Dolphins could be returning there in 2021. The Raiders lead the series 20-18-1.

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