Miami Dolphins' 2022 schedule: Early tests will be measuring stick

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MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins' 2022 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Thursday.

The 2022 NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8 with the Buffalo Bills vs. the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. ESPN opens its schedule with Monday Night Football on Sept. 12 featuring the Denver Broncos at the Seattle Seahawks.

The NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games last season. The final regular-season games for the 2022 season will be played Jan. 8, 2023. The playoffs begin Jan. 14 and continue through Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

Here's what's in store for the Dolphins:


Sept. 11: vs. New England

Sept. 18: at Baltimore

Sept. 25: vs. Buffalo

Sept. 29: at Cincinnati (TNF)

Oct. 9: at N.Y. Jets

Oct. 16: vs. Minnesota

Oct. 23: vs. Pittsburgh (SNF)

Oct. 30: at Detroit

Nov. 6: at Chicago

Nov. 13: vs. Cleveland

Nov. 20: Bye

Nov. 27: vs. Houston

Dec. 4: at San Francisco

Dec. 11: at L.A. Chargers

Dec. 17/18: at Buffalo

Dec. 25: vs. Green Bay

Jan. 1: at New England

Jan. 7/8: vs. N.Y. Jets

Strength of schedule: 21st, .481

Biggest takeaway

The nation will get a good look at the Dolphins. They get two prime-time games and a showdown on Christmas Day with the Green Bay Packers.

It's also a brutal stretch to start the season with the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers all on the schedule in the first seven weeks.

Revenge game

Week 3 against the Bills. The Dolphins were swept in embarrassing fashion by Buffalo last season, and this Sept. 25 matchup is their first shot at beating the reigning AFC East champion in what should be a measuring stick for coach Mike McDaniel's team.

What the oddsmakers think

They have the Dolphins' win total at 8.5. On paper, there are seven games that Miami should win if it considers itself a playoff contender -- if it takes care of business in those games and pulls out a couple of swing games, Miami should clear 8.5.

Bold prediction

The Dolphins will start the season 8-2. That stretch to start the season will be difficult, but it's also littered with winnable games. If McDaniel's system works and Miami clicks early, it can start the season on a scorching hot note.