The beginning portion of the Miami Dolphins’ 2021 schedule is widely considered to be the brutal gauntlet that the team must survive. But accord to at least one model for NFL projection, the Dolphins’ stretch in the second quarter of their schedule is actually a more daunting string of four consecutive games. NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund has been utilizing her ‘Game Theory’ model for years and she’s now revealed her most difficult 4-game stretch for Miami in 2021.
Week 5: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (43.8% win likelihood)
Week 6: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (London, 53.3% win likelihood)
Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons (53.1% win likelihood)
Week 8: @ Buffalo Bills (44.7% win likelihood)
According to Frelund, Miami not having a bye week in the week after a trip to London decreases their win probability against the Falcons in Week 7 by over 2% in her model.
Of course, Miami’s early season stretch of New England, Buffalo, Las Vegas and Indianapolis is no cakewalk either — but it appears as though in ‘Game Theory”s eyes, Miami has at least one strong probability win in that stretch of games to break up what could otherwise be an even more challenging stretch. The first eight weeks of the 2021 season for Miami underline the need for the team to do something that they haven’t thus far in the Brian Flores era in Miami: start fast.
Miami was won one game over the first four weeks of the last two seasons combined (1-7) with the lone win coming against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020 — who would of course go on to secure the No. 1 overall pick in this April’s NFL draft.