NFL schedule release: 3 pivotal matchups for Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Dolphins
Wide receivers Henry Ruggs III #11 and Bryan Edwards #89 and running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The NFL Schedule release came and went and excitement abounds for another impending NFL season. The Miami Dolphins kick off their 2021 season just like they did in 2020 – in Foxboro against the hated New England Patriots. The team hopes for a different outcome this time around with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa manning the ship and some new, explosive weapons in tow. The Dolphins added to an already solid roster through the 2021 NFL Draft and the results should be promising for 2021 and beyond.

Aside from the opening matchup with the Patriots, there are some other intriguing games with storylines we can follow throughout the season. Below, I will detail three of the more interesting and pivotal showdowns that Miami will encounter in the 2021-2022 NFL season. Miami is looking to improve on their 10-6 finish a year ago and this schedule presents hope that this will be the year for the Dolphins.

Week 3: Miami Dolphins At Las Vegas Raiders

The Week 3 non-division game matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders contains quite a bit of intrigue for Miami Dolphins fans early on in the 2021 season. This Miami team returns to the site of one of the most breathtaking finishes of the 2020 season. Less than a year ago, former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed an impossible, helmet-twisting throw to put Miami in range for a game-winning, last-second field goal by Jason Sanders.

That win kept Miami in the AFC playoff race and further cemented “Fitzmagic” as a football folk hero by Miami Dolphins and NFL fans everywhere. While the timing and casts may be slightly different this time around, these are two upstart teams looking to get back into the playoffs after recent absences. Miami will face QB Derek Carr, RB Josh Jacobs, and former Dolphins’ draft pick Kenyan Drake, who signed with Las Vegas this offseason.

Miami hopes to go into “Sin City” and pull out another big win. A victory in Las Vegas will bode well for the rest of the season and showcase Miami as one of the AFC leaders early on. However, for the Dolphins to remain competitive, Tua Tagovailoa will have to play better this time around. The young QB completed 17 passes for only 94 yards in that game before being yanked in the second half for Fitzpatrick.