Did you know? The only team with fewer Sunday Night Football appearances than the Miami Dolphins is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Miami Dolphins have received little love from the programming committee when it comes to prime time games, and rightly so. The league and the networks prefer to broadcast games between competitive and exciting teams, and the Dolphins are long gone.
They get a Monday night game here and there, of course. And everyone and their mothers play on Thursday nights. But their list of Sunday evening appearances reads like an arid desert.
Sunday Night Football began airing on NBC in 2006, and it quickly became the premier game of the week. After a long reign, Monday Night Football took second fiddle, as everything about the SNF show seemed superior; production, broadcasters and games all seemed to be the must-see event of the week.
Dolphin fans don’t even really know what it feels like for their team to play under the brightest lights. Since 2006, Miami has appeared on SNF a pathetic three times, the fewest of any team other than the Jaguars (2).
How hard is that to believe, in comparison? The team with the most appearances is the Cowboys with 54. Okay, Team USA, that makes sense. The Patriots have 41. The Bears 30, the Redskins/Commanders 19. Even the Lions have 9 SNF games and the Browns 5.
Not only do the Miami Dolphins only have three Sunday night games under their belt, one of them was actually a Thursday night contest, as it was the broadcast’s inaugural game in 2006. They actually had a fourth SNF game scheduled for Week 12 in 2009 against the Patriots, but it was flexed in favor of a Vikings/Cardinals matchup.
But maybe it’s all for a good reason. The Dolphins are 0-3 in their illustrious history on Sunday Night Football.
They finally have a chance to turn the tables in 2022. Miami will host the Pittsburgh Steelers for a Week 7 game on October 23, and it will be played in front of national audiences on NBC. Expect Dolphins fans to be choked up.
The Steelers are still a tough game, but they may be in a transition phase now that longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has retired, and the Dolphins should look to capitalize if Pittsburgh struggles to start the season. It will be a winnable game for Miami, especially at home, but a team led by Mike Tomlin is a team to be feared.
There will also be a familiar face on the opposing sideline. Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has been hired as a defensive assistant by the Steelers, and he will no doubt be looking to up the ante on the quarterback his rocky relationship with was made so public after. his departure.
The dolphins themselves could be top-notch entertainment. There has been an influx of speed in their offense, and their defense should remain one of the best units in the league, giving them a chance to be one of the go-to teams this coming season. Don’t watch now, but the NFL might end up regretting not giving Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill another primetime game or two.
We’ll of course have to wait and see how both teams fare at the start of the season, given Miami’s treacherous schedule in the first four games. But the planning gods finally blessed us with an elusive appearance in Sunday Night Football, and we Miami Dolphins fans will be forever grateful.