Miami Dolphins Schedule Release: Bills-Dolphins Gets a National Audience

The NFL dropped the first Miami Dolphins schedule release nugget Tuesday. The Dolphins will host the rival Buffalo Bills on Amazon Prime in Week 2.

Wednesday’s schedule release extravaganza is — like most everything the NFL does — ostentatious. Most Miami Dolphins fans just want to know who they’re playing when, so they can get a head-start on making travel arrangements.

So here’s a quick spoiler alert that we can say with a high degree of certainty ahead of the Dolphins’ schedule release: The days of 1 p.m. Sunday home games every week are over.

Miami Dolphins Schedule Release Preview

What we know already: Bills-Dolphins will be a Thursday night affair in Week 2, airing on Amazon Prime. The league revealed Tuesday that the game will be held on Sept. 12 at Hard Rock Stadium.

The prime-time affair is a rematch of the NFL regular-season finale, which was a de facto AFC East title game won by the Buffalo Bills four months back.

What Tuesday’s announcement signals: A year after appearing on national television or in standalone streaming games six times last year, the Dolphins should again get ready for their closeups.

With two straight playoff appearances, a dynamic offense, a celebrity coach, an intriguing schedule, and the most star-studded roster in all of football, don’t be surprised if a third of Miami’s regular-season games again get marquee slots.

And even if the Dolphins fall short of the franchise record for most prime-time games in a season (five, 1997 and 2004), there are more national windows than ever for the NFL to get them in front of the country.

NBC gets 22 games (including Thanksgiving night). Monday Night Football will air every week. Amazon Prime, Peacock, and perhaps Netflix will all stream games. Plus, there are five international games (although the Dolphins aren’t one of the teams in need of passports this year) — not to mention Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Put it all together, and there will be 75 or so standalone games in 2024. It’s not at all hard to envision the Dolphins appearing in at least five or six of them.

With Mike McDaniel leading Tyreek Hill and the fastest offense ever — which in 2024 will include Odell Beckham Jr. — they’re compelling TV.

Last Christmas Eve’s Cowboys-Dolphins game averaged a stunning 31.5 million viewers on FOX, which was the network’s largest Sunday audience in nearly three decades.

The NFL will want to cash in on that interest this year, and with the Dolphins not traveling abroad, expect the league to load up on prime-time games. At the very least, expect them to match the four they got last year (including Week 18, which was awarded late in the year).

The Dolphins have appeared on Monday Night Football a record 87 times. That figure will almost certainly go up in 2024.

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Could this finally be the year the league has the Dolphins play on Thanksgiving? It’s been 13 years since Miami last appeared on Turkey Day (although they did play in the first-ever Black Friday game last year).

Certainly, the Dolphins don’t lack for desirable TV matchups in 2024. Beyond two games each with the Bills and Jets, they host the 49ers, plus visit the Browns, Texans, Rams, and Packers this year.

Our bold, totally speculative prediction? Miami visits Green Bay in the late Thanksgiving game. The Packers have played on Thanksgiving 37 times — the most of any team other than the Lions and Cowboys.

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